Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has told the Mahon Tribunal that he absolutely rejects the allegation that he received a bribe of £30,000 to block tax designation for a Dublin shopping centre.

Mr Ahern also said he has no recollection of discussing tax designation with the developers of shopping centres in Quarryvale and Blanchardstown.

Mr Ahern has returned to the tribunal to give evidence about his involvement in a proposal to build a national stadium in Neilstown and the development of the Liffey Valley shopping centre at Quarryvale.

Mr Ahern, who was Minister for Finance in the 1990s, said he held the department line in refusing to give tax designation for the Blanchardstown or Quarryvale shopping centres.

He said this was despite calls for tax breaks for Blanchardstown by then Tánaiste Brian Lenihan, the leader of Fine Gael, leader of the Workers' Party and local councillors.

He said he met both Owen O'Callaghan, the developer of Quarryvale, and John Corcoran, the developer of Blanchardstown, to be updated about the projects.

But he said he had no recollection of discussing tax designation with either man.

Mr Ahern said he did not receive one cent from Mr O'Callaghan and did not receive money to block the designation for Blanchardstown.

Mr Ahern also said he met Mr O'Callaghan in his constituency office in 1998, where he told him he would not support the proposal to build a national stadium at Neilstown because he had his own plan to build one elsewhere.

Mr Ahern is scheduled for two days of testimony.

Around 30 members of the public are present in the public gallery at the Tribunal.