Flynn ‘elephant in room’ during trial

THE former chairman of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) was described as the elephant in the room during the trial of Ted Cunningham.

The defence said the prosecution referred to him so frequently during the trial that it was as if they were saying that Mr Flynn was in some way notorious and that therefore Cunningham was guilty of money-laundering.

Cunningham said he asked Mr Flynn to become a director of Chesterton because he had national prominence and would lend weight to the company.

But defence senior counsel, Ciarán O’Loughlin, said: “Phil Flynn is like an elephant in this room constantly being referred to. Superintendent Quilter said he had no interest in Mr Flynn. What about the burgeoning fascination Mr O’Connell (prosecution senior counsel) had for Mr Flynn, asking Mr Cunningham – ‘when did you meet Mr Flynn? where did you meet him?’ — Is it being said that he (Mr Flynn) is a notorious scumbag and if he is a scumbag Mr Ted Cunningham must be a money-launderer? He (Mr Flynn) is there like an elephant in the room and nothing of evidential value turns on it,” Mr O’Loughlin said.

In the off-camera interview Cunningham said: “Phil Flynn is the boss behind everything.”

He said he was in phone contact with Mr Flynn’s colleague, Catherine Nelson, on a daily basis and used a code on the phone to indicate when he had picked up money. The code was: “The postman came.”

“When I opened the bag I saw Ulster Bank written on the notes, I knew well, I rang Catherine and said I needed to meet her urgently (and was told) ‘The boys will sort it out, not to panic’,” Cunningham said.

The accused said that another time he felt a little mad and told Catherine Nelson: “I have the f**king stuff.” She said: “You are selling a pit, don’t worry about it. It is all to do with the pit.”

Det Chief Supt Tony Quilter said of Ted Cunningham: “He was in fear of Mr Flynn after naming Mr Flynn.”

Cunningham denied this, claiming that he and Phil Flynn were pursuing legitimate business interests in Bulgaria and elsewhere.

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