Ahern faces third day of questions at Mahon Tribunal

Bertie Ahern is due back in the witness box at Dublin Castle this morning for a third consecutive day of questioning about his personal finances in the 1990s.

The questions have so far focused on sterling lodgements to Mr Ahern's bank accounts in the early 1990s.

The former Taoiseach initially insisted the money was the proceeds of his pay cheques, but the tribunal has discovered that several lodgements involved thousands of pounds in sterling.

Mr Ahern says he forgot that he had lodged this money, part of which was the proceeds of betting on horse races.

Yesterday, he explained how, on several occasions in the 1990s, he took thousands of Irish punts with him to Manchester and got his businessman friend Tim Kilroe to convert it into sterling.

He said he was saving sterling cash to put a deposit on an apartment in the city, an investment which he never went ahead.

Instead, he says, he lodged the sterling to his bank accounts.

Under questioning from tribunal counsel Des O'Neill, Mr Ahern also insisted that he never had a foreign bank account.

Mr O'Neill is expected to finish quizzing Mr Ahern about his bank accounts today and may switch the focus to issues surrounding the purchase of the former Taoiseach's house at Beresford Avenue in north Dublin.

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