P. J. Mara

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Patrick James "P. J." Mara (born 1942) is an Irish public affairs consultant and former senator.[1] He was best known as a political adviser to former Taoiseach Charles Haughey. He served briefly in the Seanad on two separate occasions, in 1981 and 1982. On both occasions, he was nominated by the Taoiseach Charles Haughey. Mara served as Press Secretary to Fianna Fáil between 1983 and 1987. In 1987 he was appointed Government Press Secretary, and he held this position until February 1992, when he left the public service to move into the private sector. He subsequently returned to serve as Fianna Fáil director of elections for the 1997, 2002, and 2007 general elections.[2] He is a member of the board of Digicel, the company founded by Denis O'Brien to build mobile networks in the Caribbean.[3]

He was regularly lampooned on the satirical RTÉ radio sketch show Scrap Saturday, which ran from 1989 to 1991.

Flood Tribunal[edit]

Mara was one of the components of the so-called Century Radio module at the Flood Tribunal. Mara told the Tribunal that during the course of his employment as a Press Secretary, his financial remuneration was not sufficient to meet his immediate financial requirements, and he experienced financial difficulties. He said he received assistance from his friends, Oliver Barry and financier Dermot Desmond, in the form of loans. However there was no interest charge, nor was there any fixed schedule for repayment. Those making the loans did not intend that the sums advanced would be treated as gifts by Mara, but were content to receive their money back, once Mara was in a position so to do. Desmond told the Tribunal that he had lent £46,000 to Mr Mara between 1986 and 1989. Mr Barry said he remembered lending Mara a sum of £2,000 on one occasion between 1982 and 1984.[4]

In the Second Interim Report of the Flood Tribunal, Judge Feargus Flood found that Mara failed to co-operate with the Tribunal by: "Failing to provide the Tribunal with details of an account in the name of Pullman Limited, operated by him at Royal Bank of Scotland in the Isle of Man, when swearing his Affidavit of Discovery made pursuant to an Order of the Tribunal requiring him to discover, inter alia, any such account."[5]