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Flynn 'absolutely rejects' Mahon findings of corrupt payment

The former TD and EU commissioner issues a brief statement rejecting the corruption findings made in the final Tribunal.

Pádraig 'Pee' Flynn at the Mahon Tribunal in 2008.
Pádraig 'Pee' Flynn at the Mahon Tribunal in 2008.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

FORMER EU COMMISSIONER Pádraig Flynn has said he ‘absolutely’ rejects the findings of the final report of the Mahon Tribunal.

The final report, published yesterday, said Flynn had “wrongly and corruptly” sought a payment of IR£50,000 from developer Tom Gilmartin in 1989.

The report recounted evidence from Gilmartin, who had told the Tribunal he believed the payment was being given to the Fianna Fáil party rather than to Flynn himself.

This morning, in a brief email statement, Flynn rejected the report’s findings, insisting: “During my lifetime of involvement in politics I have never sought nor have I ever received a corrupt payment.

“I absolutely reject any such finding of this Tribunal in that regard,” he added. “It is not my intention to issue any further statement at this time.”

Gilmartin had told the tribunal he believed the payment would mean Flynn would “ease or remove obstacles” impeding the building of the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre at Quarryvale.

A substantial portion of the money allegedly accepted by Flynn was used to buy a farm in the name of his wife, though Flynn told the Tirbunal in 2008 that he did not personally benefit from the payment.

The Tribunal found that five senior figures within the party knew about the payment, with Bertie Ahern knowing about it in 1989 and then-Taoiseach Albert Reynolds finding out in 1992.

Flynn was a TD from 1977 to 1993, and a European Commissioner for social affairs from then until 1999. Fianna Fáíl’s national executive will next week consider a motion to expel Flynn from the party.

Read: FF minister Pádraig Flynn took £50k corrupt payment – Mahon

More: Good Friday Agreement ‘cannot absolve’ Ahern on Mahon implications: Martin

In full: TheJournal.ie’s full coverage of the Mahon Tribunal

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Gavan Reilly

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