Tribunal corrects Richardson reference
Inquiry now says former FF fundraiser not questioned about £39,000 in account
The planning tribunal says it has withdrawn any criticism of Mr Richardson, a former Fianna Fáil fundraiser, for allegedly failing to identify the origin of £39,000 used to open an account held in the name of Roevin Ireland Ltd. Photograph: Frank Miller
The planning tribunal has corrected an error in its final report relating to businessman Des Richardson and his financial links to Bertie Ahern.
The tribunal says it has withdrawn any criticism of Mr Richardson, a former Fianna Fáil fundraiser, for allegedly failing to identify the origin of £39,000 used to open an account held in the name of Roevin Ireland Ltd. It now accepts that Mr Richardson was not specifically questioned about the source of this money when he gave evidence to the inquiry.
The original report wrongly said that he had claimed not to have any knowledge of the source of the money, and went on to say it was incredible that he was unable to account for the origins of the funds in the account.
In a correction posted on the tribunal’s website, it says Mr Richardson was questioned extensively in relation to a £5,000 payment to Mr Ahern in late December 1993 and in that context was asked about the Roevin bank account.
It says the report erroneously indicated that he had claimed no knowledge of the €39,000. “Therefore, all such reference to the said IR£39,000 in the Final Report, including any criticism of Mr Richardson for failing to identify the origin of this sum are withdrawn.”
Last month, Mr Richardson lost a High Court challenge to findings of the tribunal relating to him. He applied to have two section of the report quashed but Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said that while she accepted there was a mistake in the tribunal findings it was up to the tribunal, not the court, to correct that.