The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has told the Mahon Tribunal on political corruption that he `could well' have met developer Tom Gilmartin at an informal `gathering' of ministers in Government buildings.
Gilmartin has said he was asked for a massive bribe following a 1989 meeting on a proposed development with Dublin's Cabinet of Ministers, including Mr Ahern and then Taoiseach Charlie Haughey.
Of the Ministers present, only Senator Mary O'Rourke can now recall the meeting.
Mr Ahern says that although he has `wracked his brains' he cannot recall meeting Mr Gilmartin along with other cabinet members.
However, he said it `could well' have happened that Mr Gilmartin was taken to the ministerial corridor and introduced to several ministers.
He said that type of introduction happened all the time and neither he nor his colleagues could be expected to remember an individual occasion.
Mr Ahern pointed out that Mary O'Rourke had said the meeting took place in the ministerial corridor in Government buildings while Mr Gilmartin had insisted it took place in Fianna Fáil offices in Leinster House.
His barrister, Conor Maguire SC, said in clarification that his client was admitting the `possibility' of Mrs O'Rourke's version of events, but not Mr Gilmartin's.