Larkin lodgement was equal to $45,000

A BANK lodgement of IR£28,772.90 made by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s former partner, Celia Larkin, on December 5, 1994, did not equate with any sterling amount received that day in AIB branch in O’Connell Street, Dublin — but tallied with $45,000, the Mahon Planning Tribunal heard yesterday.

Mr Ahern, who has been listed to give evidence on July 26 and 27, has said he has never been involved in any dollar transactions.

The tribunal heard Ms Larkin lodged the IR£28,772.90 in cash to an account in her name.

AIB bank official John Garrett — the first bank official to be called to testify on Mr Ahern’s personal finances — produced documents tracing various bank transactions relating to how lodgements by Ms Larkin and Mr Ahern were recorded.

Based on the foreign notes exchange rate at the time, Ms Larkin’s lodgement equated with $45,000.

Ms Larkin is due to testify next Wednesday, the same day as Micheal Wall, the Manchester-based businessman and one-time owner of Mr Ahern’s current Dublin home.

The tribunal is examining foreign exchange transactions involving four large lodgements made by Mr Ahern and Ms Larkin between 1994 and 1995.

She has told the tribunal her lodgement came after Mr Wall gave Mr Ahern stg£30,000 cash for expenditure on Mr Wall’s house, which Mr Ahern was to rent.

Outlining the evidence to be examined regarding Mr Ahern’s finances, tribunal lawyer Des O’Neill SC had said: “A customer presenting exactly $45,000 for exchange into Irish currency on December 5, 1994, would have received exactly IR£28,772.90.”

Documents before the tribunal yesterday showed the total sterling transactions at the bank branch on that day amounted to IR£1,921.55.

The tribunal also examined a IR£24,838.49 lodgement by Mr Ahern on October 11, 1994.

According to Mr Ahern, it included IR£16,500 raised by friends to help him acquire a house and stg£8,000 from an unsolicited presentation after a dinner in Manchester.

Mr Garrett is due to continue his evidence on Thursday when the tribunal resumes.

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