Ahern welcomes interim Flood reportThursday 26 September 2002 17.03
Bertie Ahern has said that, having set up the Flood Tribunal, he is very pleased it has come to this stage.
Mr Ahern said he is sending the Flood Report to the Criminal Assets Bureau, the Revenue Commissioners and the Director of Corporate Enforcement.
The Government is also to establish a Corruption Assets Bureau to recover assets corruptly obtained.
In a statement, Mr Ahern commended Mr Justice Flood and his legal team and said his decision to ask the Dáil to establish the Tribunal and to extend its terms of reference to cover Ray Burke was entirely justified by today's report.
The Taoiseach said that at the root of corruption was money, and that those who benefited from corrupting public officials and those holding elective office must be held financially accountable as well as being subject to criminal sanctions.
Mr Ahern said the Government would further ensure honesty and transparency in public life by tabling a Lobbying Bill which would oblige lobbyists to be registered and regulated.
The Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, has described today’s interim Flood report as a searing indictment of Ray Burke's character and actions as a minister.
Mr Kenny said it called into question the judgement of the Taoiseach in appointing him Minister for Foreign Affairs, and drove a wedge in the trust between the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, as Ms Harney had accepted Mr Ahern's assurances about Mr Burke.
Labour leader Ruairí Quinn described the report as a damning indictment of Ray Burke, the Taoiseach who appointed him to high office and the Fianna Fáil party, which sustained him in political office until recently.
Mr Quinn said it was the Taoiseach who brought Ray Burke back from the political wilderness that Albert Reynolds had confined him to.
He added that the report demonstrates misbehaviour by one public figure which unfortunately represents the culture that infected the largest political party in the state at its highest levels.
Labour TD Joan Burton has said the findings of the report make grim reading for every citizen who cares for high standards in political office.
Gogarty happy with reportJames Gogarty, the man at the centre of the Flood Tribunal allegations, has been described as 'very happy' with the publication of the report and said that after 20 years he is delighted the situation has been put to bed.
Speaking on RTE radio, Mr Gogarty's son Eamon said that his 85-year-old father had been under great strain over the past five years.