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Gallagher ‘doesn’t remember’ visiting Morgan to deliver photograph

Sean Gallagher says he does not recall his meeting with Hugh Morgan – as the fuel magnate says Gallagher personally accepted the cheque.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

SEÁN GALLAGHER has said he does not remember his meeting with Hugh Morgan where he delivered a photograph of the businessman – while Morgan has insisted that Gallagher personally visited him to accept a fundraising cheque for Fianna Fáil.

In an interview with Today FM’s ‘Last Word’ programme, Gallagher said he could not recall the incident where he said he had not visited “this man’s premises to collect a cheque”.

Fundraising cheques for Fianna Fáil were always sent directly to the Fianna Fáil party headquarters in Dublin, he said, implying that he would not have been given that donation to act as a conduit for it.

That suggestion was this afternoon directly contradicted by Morgan, who this evening issued a statement saying Gallagher had personally visited Morgan’s business premises at Killean, County Armagh.

“I wrote a cheque for €5,000.00 and gave it to him personally,” Morgan’s statement said. “The cheque number is 13014. I still have the stub of the cheque.”

“This payment is declared in my company accounts and was cleared through my bank on the 1st July 2008.”

This statement appears to comply with the statement given by Fianna Fáil earlier today, which said the donation had been received on June 30 of that year. The fundraising event for which the cash had been paid took place on July 1, the day the cheque was cleared.

Morgan’s statement is in conflict with Gallagher, however, who said he would not personally have received a cheque from any Fianna Fáil donors.

Morgan’s statement also includes the two numbers left by Gallagher at which he could be contacted, and said Gallagher had also visited Morgan’s premises after the fundraising event to deliver a photograph of Morgan with the then-taoiseach, Brian Cowen.

The statement from Morgan also acknowledges that he was convicted of tax evasion in connection with fuel laundering in 1998, but says he had since built up a “successful international business” which operates around Europe.

Gallagher this evening issued another statement to counter that of Morgan, insisting that Morgan’s account of events was “completely at odds with what he allegedly told Martin McGuinness two hours before the Frontline debate.

“Sinn Féin and Mr. Morgan have had so many versions of this fabricated story that it only serves to further compound the lie.”

In full: Hugh Morgan’s statement on dealings with Seán Gallagher

Seán Gallagher accuses Martin McGuinness of “political assassination”

Fianna Fáil says Morgan cheque was lodged before fundraising event

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Gavan Reilly

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