Richardson challenges findings of Mahon tribunal as 'erroneous'

Thu, Dec 13, 2012, 00:00

A challenge by businessman Des Richardson to various findings of the Mahon tribunal, including that he failed to disclose the source of £39,000 in Irish pounds held in a bank account, has opened at the High Court.

Mr Richardson, a former fundraiser for Fianna Fáil, claims the tribunal’s findings are “wholly erroneous” on grounds including that he was never asked by counsel for the tribunal to account for the origins of the funds in the account, the Roevin Account.

Mr Richardson gave evidence over several days to the tribunal in relation to its investigations into the finances of former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The tribunal was told funds from Roevin Ireland Ltd were used in 1993 to purchase a bank draft paid to Mr Ahern and Mr Richardson was examined extensively about his involvement with Roevin over two days of the tribunal’s public sittings.

In his proceedings, Mr Richardson, Serpentine Avenue, Dublin, wants orders quashing references to him in two sections of the final report of the tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments.

Mr Richardson had not told the tribunal he was unable to account for the origin of the funds in the account and was given no opportunity to explain the source of the monies in the Roevin Account which he was happy to do, had he been asked, counsel said.

Mr Richardson had not withheld significant information from the tribunal, which made findings in respect of matters Mr Richardson was never asked about, counsel added.

While the tribunal offered to amend the paragraphs in the online version of its report, that was not sufficient, he added.

Mr Richardson wants orders requiring the tribunal remove the two paragraphs from all forms of the final report.

The hearing continues.