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Haughey too ill to appear in court.

SHAMED former Taoiseach Charles Haughey's challenge to the legal probe into his financial affairs has been put off because he is too ill to appear in court.

The fallen leader's challenge to the Moriarty Tribunal investigating his affairs was due to start in the High Court today but was put back yesterday for three weeks because of his medical condition.

The ex-Fianna Fail boss fell from his horse a few weeks ago while riding on Portmarnock Strand and broke his leg.

Haughey is taking on the Government, the Attorney General, the clerks of the Dail and Seanad, tribunal chief Michael Moriarty and "Ireland" in a bizarre last stand to safeguard the secrets of his champagne lifestyle.

The first tribunal heard that Haughey's handlers tried to put together a syndicate of six wealthy business bosses to bail the former Taoiseach out of a cash crisis. It was also told that Ben Dunne said he would foot the entire pounds 1.3 million bill.

The former leader is said to be particularly distressed that the tribunal is planning to investigate the financial affairs of his relatives and other people connected to him in the paper trail.

The action to try and curb the tribunal's powers is also being taken by other members of the Haughey family, including his wife Maureen, daughter Eimear and sisters Eithne and Maureen.

Mr Justice Geoghegan, who was due to hear the case, was told by Haughey's legal team yesterday that he was not in a position to give evidence after breaking his leg.

Counsel for Haughey, Colm Condon, said he had a medical report from Haughey's doctor and had visited his client on Monday.

He said that his client was not really in any position to come into court to give evidence.

State counsel, Frank Condon, said that alternative ways of getting his evidence might have to be considered if he isn't better in three weeks time.

Mr Justice Geoghegan said that facilities could be made available to cater for Mr Haughey if he is still on crutches at the next hearing.

The case has been adjourned until March 24.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 4, 1998
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