Flynn rejects Mahon tribunal findings

 

Former Fianna Fáil minister and EU commissioner Pádraig Flynn has today rejected the findings of the Mahon tribunal.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Mr Flynn denied having sought or received payments fom others. "During my lifetime of involvement in politics I have never sought nor have I ever received a corrupt payment," he said. "I absolutely reject any such finding of this tribunal in that regard."

The final report of the Mahon tribunal, which was published yesterday morning, said Mr Flynn had corruptly sought and received a payment from developer Tom Gilmartin in 1989.

In addition to making a finding of corruption against Mr Flynn, the tribunal also said that other sums of £77,000 lodged by Mr Flynn into non-resident accounts in London along with the £50,000 remained unaccounted for.

The report also described Mr Flynn’s explanation of how he handled Mr Gilmartin’s payment, and other sums, as “astounding, incredible and untrue”.

The tribunal dealt with the £50,000 payment in the chapter surrounding the development of the Quarryvale project (now Liffey Valley shopping centre) in the late 1980s, when Mr Flynn was minister for the environment.

The tribunal, in its findings, accepted all of the evidence given by Mr Gilmartin in this regard and rejected that given by Mr Flynn when conflicts arose between their respective accounts.

The report also concluded that the £50,000 was lodged by Mr Flynn and his wife Dorothy into an account in Chiswick, London which designated them as non-resident. It said it found the evidence of both on this account to be incredible and untrue.

In all the couple, held three non-resident accounts with lodgements totalling £155,278.

“None of the lodgements appeared to relate to the salary or income of Mr Flynn,” it said.

Mr Flynn's comments came after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin proposed to expel Mr Flynn and former taoiseach Bertie Ahern from the party.

Speaking about the tribunal's conclusion, Mr Martin said it was “reprehensible” that Mr Flynn had “accepted for himself a sum of IR£50,000 that was handed over to him in his ministerial office by the developer Tom Gilmartin”.

Elsewhere, Labour MEP Nessa Childers today called on the European Commission to enforce its code of conduct to the full and cut off Mr Flynn's pension.

"The former Commissioner has disgraced Ireland’s good name in Europe. He should no longer recieve his sizable pension from the European Commission," she said.

Under the Commission’s own code of conduct, a former Commissioner has atall times a “duty to behave with integrity” and if not, can be “deprived of his right to a pension”. These rules should also be enforced retroactively," she added.