The Moriarty Tribunal has been hearing details about how Des Traynor ran the Ansbacher system from the registered offices of Cement Roadstone Holdings during the late 80's and early 90's when he was Chairman of the company. Joan Williams, who was Des Traynor's secretary for more than twenty years, told the Tribunal that she presumed that staff at CRH knew that Mr Traynor was running an offshore business from the premises. The Tribunal heard how two other men involved with Ansbacher, Padraig Collery and John Furze, worked out of Mr Traynor's CRH office from time to time although neither man had any connection with CRH.
Ms Williams told the Tribunal that Des Traynor kept a computer and filing cabinets dedicated to Ansbacher in his office at CRH in Fitzwilliam Square. Padraig Collery used the office in the evenings and at weekends to update Ansbacher files. He had his own key to the building. Around once a year the Cayman banker John Furze would also spend a week at the office working on Ansbacher. Ms Williams said the company secretary and staff at CRH would have known that these two men were coming and going.
When Des Traynor died in May of 1994 his office continued to be used by Padraig Collery and Joan Williams for Ansbacher business. Ms Williams sent letters on Ansbacher paper from Fitzwwilliam Square even when the new chairman had taken over the office. She also got a CRH driver to collect cheques on her instructions, destined for Charles Haughey. Ms Williams, who had an Ansbacher account herself and was a co-signatory to two accounts related to the operation, insisted that any work she carried out was purely in her capacity as Des Traynor's secretary.
Joan Williams, Des Traynor's former secretary, began giving evidence at the Moriarty Tribunal today. She told the Tribunal that she began working for Mr Traynor, the man who ran the Ansbacher accounts, in 1972. She worked for him until his death in 1994. Ms Williams told the Tribunal that her involvement in the running of Ansbacher increased when Des Traynor left Guinness and Mahon in 1986.
Ms Williams was involved in collecting Ansbacher funds from banks. But she said she did not know the details of the arrangement. She also worked with the Cayman Banker John Furze. She told the Tribunal she had no direct knowledge of how the Ansbacher loan arrangements were run. But she recalled loan arrangements being made for Celtic helicopters and Emer Haughey, the daughter of Charles Haughey, or her husband John Mulhearn. She was asked did she ever give cash to Ansbacher clients. She said she had no recollection but she does remember clients calling to the offices of Cement Roadstone holdings, where Des Chairman, during the 80's and early 90's. She has given a detailed memorandum of evidence to the Tribunal and will continue giving evidence here this afternoon.
Earlier a tax adviser told the Moriarty Tribunal that aspects of the trust operation outlined in the controversial "note to John Furze" were designed to throw the revenue authorities off the scent. Don Reid who advised Guinness and Mahon Bank about tax matters told the Tribunal that the arrangement described in the note interposed a third person into the normal trust arrangement. It would then look as if the assets came from this person. In the case of the "note to John Furze" this third person was John Furze.