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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Ahern confirms he received cash
bertie ahern
Bertie Ahern said he spoken in detail to the tribunal
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has confirmed he received payments from a number of people in the early 1990s.

The payments have come under scrutiny by the Mahon Tribunal which is investigating alleged planning corruption in the Irish Republic.

Mr Ahern said a 70,000 figure quoted in the Irish Times was "off the wall" and he had no questions to answer.

He said he had spoken to the tribunal in detail and he had successfully sued a newspaper about the matter.

Equivalent

Mr Ahern, speaking from County Clare, confirmed that the Irish Times report contained a lot of the information he gave in a confidential session to the Mahon Tribunal.

He said, however, reports that he received the equivalent of between 35,000 and 70,000 were "off the wall".

The newspaper reported that the tribunal has been told he was given the money to pay legal bills.

The taoiseach said it was all part of previously-made allegations that he received money from a builder, that he has already spoken to the tribunal about in detail, and about which he successfully sued The Sunday Business Post newspaper.

He denied he had any questions to answer, adding that the question was, who scurriliously leaked from a confidential session of the tribunal to try to damage him?


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