Offaly – Money laundering hub of Ireland
The trial in Cork of Ted Cunningham, accused of laundering proceeds from the Northern Bank raid, heard detailed and sometimes bizarre testimony from the prosecution today — much of it drawn from transcripts of Garda interviews. The most interesting twist is the return of the name of Phil Flynn, onetime chairman of Bank of Scotland’s Ireland operation. Cunningham alleged in an interview that Flynn was the brains of the laundering operation, which was organised around delivery of huge quantities of sterling to various points in County Offaly, whereupon they would be picked up and then show up as investments in non-existent overseas enterprises made via Cunningham’s financial management business. It’s important to remember that Phil Flynn was an important cog in the Bertie Ahern machine, an experienced industrial dispute problem solver — albeit in the era of “whatever you’re having yourself lads” for which we are now paying by the price. But anyway, is it too unkind to speculate that the relaxed ethical attitude at the top of the Irish banking system is not a million miles removed from the practices now being exposed in the Northern Bank laundering trial?