Today's RTE web site:
Witness claims O'Callaghan kicked Gilmartin.
Tuesday, 26 February 2008 16:15.
Two community activists have told the Mahon Tribunal that developer Owen O'Callaghan kicked his then business partner Tom Gilmartin when he mentioned a £50,000 payment to a senior politician.
One of the men, Pat Jennings, said Mr Gilmartin cried out after being kicked and it stopped him mentioning the name of the politician.
Mr Jennings said Tom Gilmartin had been complaining that politicians in Ireland were worse than the mafia and that they had been putting roadblocks in his way of his Quarryvale development.
He said during the meeting, also attended by Mr O'Callaghan and lobbyist Frank Dunlop in the Jensen Hotel early in 1991, Mr Gilmartin went on to say he had to pay a senior politician £50,000.
Mr Jennings said at this point Mr O'Callaghan kicked him in the shin and Mr Gilmartin cried out: 'Jesus Owen. Why are you kicking me?' He said there was an embarrassed silence afterwards.
John McCann, a member of Sinn Féin, also described the incident. He said Mr Gilmartin was loudly effing and blinding about Irish politicians being a bunch of corrupt bastards.
He said after Mr O'Callaghan kicked him they had a good laugh.
The tribunal heard that Mr Gilmartin denies the meeting ever took place.
SF Cllr insists he did not threaten Gilmartin.
Earlier Sinn Féin Councillor Christy Burke offered to take a lie-detector test to prove he did not threaten Mr Gilmartin on behalf of a rival developer.
Mr Gilmartin told the Mahon Tribunal that Mr Burke was one of three men who said they were from the IRA and warned him to stay away from Clondalkin.
Mr Burke said he never met Tom Gilmartin in his life and would like to sue him.
He also said he never met Mr O'Callaghan, who Mr Gilmartin claims orchestrated the threatening meeting in the late 1980s or 1990s.
Mr Burke was asked by tribunal counsel why he was so angry when the inquiry simply asked him by letter if he had met Mr Gilmartin during a resident's meeting in a Clondalkin pub.
Mr Burke replied that he was annoyed because Quarryvale was outside his constituency and because he had only been in a pub two or three times in the past 30 years.
Mr Burke admitted he had met Mr Dunlop, who acted as Mr O'Callaghan's lobbyist for Quarryvale, on a number of occasions in the 1990s about other issues.
He said he was trying to secure job creation for the inner city.
Mr Burke said a reference by Mr Dunlop in his records to leaving an envelope for him in city hall in 1992 could have referred to development plans such as the Parnell St project.
He said he had never received a political donation from Mr Dunlop.
This is all horribly confusing to those of us who haven't been paying full attention to or missed a few episodes of this long-running soap. I wish someone like Tonys would come on and explain it all, as I'm totally lost. From the RTE report, it seems the following occurred.
(1) Two community activists are claiming to have been at a meeting at which Gilmartin confessed to bribing a senior politician to the tune of £50,000, but Gilmartin is denying the meeting ever took place. Why? Its usually Gilmartin who is claiming to have been at meetings at which bribes were discussed, with other people denying the meeting ever took place. Now, suddenly the roles are reversed. Confused? There would appear to be three possible explanations: (1) the two community activists are lying OR (2) Gilmartin is lying OR (3) the kick that Gilmartin received on the shins sent shock waves to his brain cells and in the process erased his memory of the meeting.
(2) Gilmartin is making very serious accusations against a Sinn Fein Councillor. The Councillor is denying it and offering to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence. So, what is Sinn Fein's official policy regarding Tom Gilmartin? It would seem to be as follows: (a) when Gilmartin is making accusations against Bertie Ahern, he is obviously a fine upstanding man who has a perfect memory and would never dream of making anything up, and the bounder Ahern should resign at once (b) when Gilmartin is making accusations against a Sinn Fein Councillor, he is obviously a liar and a fantasist and the Councillor is completely innocent.
You couldn't make it up.