Manchester businessman Norman Turner was the key person behind the Sonas Consortium that launched plans for a casino in the Phoenix Park in September 1994.

The casino was to be a central part of a £375m development including a football stadium and a hotel complex.

But it ran into massive local and political opposition.

The then Minister for Finance, Bertie Ahern, opposed the casino but in recent years his spokespeople have confirmed that during the 1993-94 period, Mr Ahern attended at least the Manchester United games as a guest of Mr Turner.

Ultimately the plan never went ahead but the controversy became public again in June 2000 when the late Liam Lawlor told a Fianna Fáil internal inquiry that he had been approached by Mr Richardson and told the Sonas consortium would pay him £100k to act as an advisor.

Mr Richardson confirmed he did discuss work as an advisor with Mr Lawlor but categorically denied discussing the amount of any payment.

Last November Des Richardson, the man appointed by Mr Ahern as Fianna Fáil fund-raiser in the mid-1990s confirmed to the Mahon Tribunal that Mr Turner gave him an envelope with $10,000 cash for Fianna Fáil in April or May 1994.

That disclosure re-opened the controversy over the casino and the extent of contacts with Mr Turner.

When Mr Richardson gave evidence last November, the Tribunal Counsel Des O'Neill noted the Tribunal had been unable to secure details about the $10,000 donation from Mr Turner despite extensive correspondence.