DUBLIN — The arraignment of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey on charges he obstructed the McCracken Tribunal investigating his finances in 1997 has been adjourned to Oct. 28 on the application of his lawyers.
About 20 Socialist Workers’ Party protesters picketed the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin when he made a brief appearance to hear his senior counsel successfully plead for the adjournment on the basis that clarification of the indictment was needed.
The papers on the case had only been served on Haughey two days before the court appearance and counsel for the prosecution agreed that a fortnight would be necessary to deal with queries.
The protestors chanted "Charlie, Charlie, what’s the craic? We want the shirt off you back", "Yer island, yer yacht, yer shirt, ye’re caught" and "Charlie, Charlie, what’s the score? One law for the rich, one for the poor".
The next day, the protestors were given ammunition for their next protest at the courthouse when more details of Haughey’s free-spending was revealed.
The Moriarty tribunal was told that Haughey’s spent more than £15,000 on meals at the exclusive Le Coq Hardi restaurant in Dublin in 1991. It was a favorite haunt of the former taoiseach where he and his mistress, Terry Keane, dined together in a private upstairs room.
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The five cheques involved were drawn on the taxpayer-funded party leaders’ account.
All had been co-signed by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
Le Coq, in a converted Georgian house in Pembroke Road in the heart of Dublin 4, is an elegant and discrete restaurant with a noted cellar of 600 fine wines that are much appreciated by wealthy connoisseurs.
Haughey’s dining bill compares with the average industrial wage of £11,388 in 1991. At the time the average household spent a meagre £4.85 per week on hotel and restaurant meals.
The tribunal is also investigating another cheque from the party leaders’ account for £2,403 made out to the exclusive Adare Manor just before Christmas in 1990. Adare is one of the finest and most exclusive of Irish country house hotels and has welcomed guests like President Clinton and leading Hollywood stars.