Ahern adviser resigns after gardaí raid home and office

A Government adviser tonight resigned from a number of key positions after he was embroiled in a multi-million Euro money-laundering investigation.

Industrial relations trouble-shooter Phil Flynn stood down as chairman of the national implementation body overseeing decentralisation as well as from the board of health insurer VHI and as chairman of the Bank of Scotland in Ireland.

Mr Flynn’s home and office was raided by detectives after it emerged that he was a non-executive director with Chesterton Finance, which is being investigated by gardaí.

He said tonight: “I don’t believe that the money has been laundered through Chesterton.”

"I have no involvement with money laundering, full stop - for the Republican movement or for anybody else.

“The sensible thing is to step aside. This will sort itself out and when it does you’ll see me back.”

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern had earlier said through his spokeswoman that Mr Flynn’s position on the decentralisation implementation body was being considered by him,

Chesterton Finance LTD, is owned by Cork business man Ted Cunningham who is currently helping Guardai with their inquiries into the money laundering operation.

Hundreds of gardaí seized over £2.3m (€3.3m) in dozens of nationwide searches which police chiefs have so far refused to link with December’s £26.5m (€38m) sterling Northern Bank heist in Belfast.

Gardaí said tonight that they released one of the men they were questioning under the Offences Against the State Act in Co Cork. Officers also warned that the investigation is extremely complex, and will continue for some time but no further details will be released for operational reasons.

Garda spokesman Supt. Kevin Donohoe said: “It should be clearly understood that this is an extremely complex investigation with many facets which require further extensive enquiries.

“While Gardaí are satisfied with the extensive progress made within the last three days, it can be expected that this investigation will continue for some time.

“This remains a very fluid situation and both the money laundering aspect and subversive involvement will be vigorously pursued.

“To this end, the investigation teams have been in consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and members of the PSNI in Northern Ireland.

“Where breaches of the law are suspected, complete investigation files will be submitted to the DPP for consideration.

“In light of this, Gardaí will not be disclosing any further detailed aspects of this investigation.”

Mr Flynn said earlier today that Mr Cunningham had approached him to join the board of Chesterton Finance LTD and offered him a 10 percent stake to revamp the firm.

The 62-year-old former trade unionist also revealed that officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau quizzed him yesterday and seized files he had relating to the company.

There is no suggestion that Mr Flynn was involved in any wrong-doing.

  • Click to stay connected with more stories like this
  • Sign up here to receive news by email. Once per day, no spam.

Most Read in Ireland