Minister of State Batt O'Keeffe has told the Mahon Tribunal that £9,000 he received as a political donation from a developer was lodged into a personal account.

But Mr O'Keeffe said all the money he received from developer Owen O'Callaghan went on political expenses.

Batt O'Keeffe said he received a cheque for £10,000 from Mr O'Callaghan during the 1992 General Election campaign.

£1,000 was lodged to an account set aside for election expenses, while the bulk of the money went into a high interest personal account.

But Mr O'Keeffe said he had already spent personal money on that election campaign where he was fighting for his political life.

Patricia Dillon SC for the inquiry asked if the £9,000 lodgement was a mental reimbursement for this personal expenditure.

Mr O'Keeffe replied that he faced on-going expenses after the election and is satisfied that all the money went on political expenses.

Ex FÁS chief denies junket claim

Earlier at the tribunal, a former director general of FÁS denied that he arranged for a councillor to be sent on a junket so he would miss a crucial vote on the Quarryvale development.

John Lynch, who is now chairman of CIE, told the tribunal that he absolutely refuted the suggestion that the trip was arranged at the request of Mr O'Callaghan.

The tribunal heard that Independent Councillor Gus O'Connell was an employee of FÁS and an opponent of the Quarryvale development.

Mr O'Connell missed a vote to confirm rezoning for Quarryvale in December 1992 and lobbyist Frank Dunlop has said he heard this was arranged on behalf of Mr O'Callaghan.

Mr O'Connell said he was asked to go on a trip to London to study privatisation of training services by the then director general, John Lynch, who told him it was important to go now rather than later.

Mr Lynch told the tribunal that he knew Mr O'Connell had an important planning meeting so he left it up to him to decide whether to go.

Mr Lynch was asked about a series of telephone calls recorded as coming from him to the office of Mr Dunlop, then Mr O'Callaghan's lobbyist, in the days before the trip.

But Mr Lynch denied these messages were to confirm that Mr O'Connell would miss the vote.

He said he was an acquaintance of Mr O'Callaghan since the time they served on the board of Bord Gáis together.

He had been discussing with Mr O'Callaghan the opening of an employment centre in the Quarryvale development.