Further extension for Bertie at Mahon Tribunal

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has got a time extension before he is called to give evidence to the Mahon tribunal in relation to alleged illicit payments he received in 1989 and 1992/3


In November 2005, the tribunal in its opening statement of the Quarryvale 2 module said that it was investigating an allegation that Bertie Ahern received payments from property developer Owen O'Callaghan. The payments, totalling £80,000, were allegedly made in relation to the Quarryvale (now Liffey Valley) retail development in west Dublin.

The hearings were immediately postponed following an application by Owen O'Callaghan to stop the inquiry which he alleged was biased against him. In October 2006, the High Court rejected his application, but its decision was appealed to the Supreme Court.

Last week, the Supreme Court stated that it would hold a three-day hearing on 22 January into the appeal by O'Callaghan. It is expected that judgement will be reserved for some weeks.

The Mahon tribunal announced last week that it will not re-open its hearings until after the Supreme Court decision. If the Supreme Court rejects the appeal, the Quarryvale module and the Taosieach's  long-awaited appearance at the tribunal will not take place before February, and more likely March 2007, just three months before the expected general election