“I am very pleased that the final Aer Rianta report has fully cleared my name in relation to this matter,” the minister said Monday. “I wish to thank the very many people who worked so hard on the investigation.”
The unpaid bill first became public two weeks ago when allegations were made that a senior politician had not paid for whiskey, brandy and cigars allegedly delivered to his office in a van by Aer Rianta.
Brennan instructed the secretary-general of the Department of Transport to obtain a full report from the auditors of Aer Rianta.
Insisting that it had carried out “an exhaustive search” of its files, Aer Rianta said there was “no documentary, or other evidence” that Brennan had received such goods.
Aer Rianta did admit that there was a “divergence” between accounts by former director Dermot O’Leary and a former chief executive, Derek Keogh, about an alleged conversation between the two in 1993. In his testimony, O’Leary said Keogh had brought to his attention an outstanding bill owed by Brennan. Keogh says he does not recall such a conversation.
Acknowledging that the controversy was losing steam, Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten called on the minister to urge Aer Rianta to publish the full statements provided by all those interviewed.
“If that is done, it will remove any cloud of doubt that may remain over the minister and ensure that his integrity and reputation are not questioned. It would be in his own interests to do so,” said Naughten.