Vindicated witness toasts findings with quiet drink

THE Flood Tribunal’s star witness, 85-year-old James Gogarty, was last night toasting the findings with a quiet drink.

Mr Gogarty's son, Eamon, said his father had been under great strain for the past five years and he was happy the interim verdict totally vindicated his evidence.

His son said the family's hope now was that the matter could at last be put behind them.

The former building company executive, who began the entire process with his allegations of a payment to Fianna Fáil minister Ray Burke, celebrated his 85th birthday last May. It was a bitter row with his employers, Joseph Murphy Structural Engineers, over his pension entitlements which ultimately led the payments to come to light.

Mr Gogarty, a native of Kells in Co Meath, had worked for almost all his life in the building industry.

The last 20 years of his life were with the Murphy group of building companies, and for 10 of these he sought in vain to secure a proper pension.

Eamon Gogarty also said his father is and always had been a very private man, who had been forced by circumstances into the public gaze. He said it was important to note that the tribunal described him as somebody who was acting on instructions from others and was in a difficult situation.

"I think it is important to remember the context of those instructions that he was a man in his 70s who felt himself trapped," Eamon Gogarty told broadcaster Joe Duffy on RTÉ radio.

Mr Gogarty said they were last night planning a celebratory drink and would then put the whole matter behind them after 20 years of stress and worry.

"He's in fine form. "I think he'll live for another 100 years and I'll drink his health," his son said.

More in this section

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence

Home Delivery


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.