Businessman denies knowing Councillors in corrupt payments trial

A businessman accused of making corrupt payments to local politicians in Dublin in the 1990s has told a court that he did not know any of the Councillors in question.

A jury is being sworn in for the trial of James Kennedy of Cormorant Way, Queens Quay, Gibraltar.

Dun Laoghaire Councillor Tony Fox of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, along with three former politicians: Colm Mc Grath of Swiftwood, Saggart, Donal Lydon of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue and Liam Cosgrave of Merrion Park, Blackrock, all in Dublin are also being tried for allegedly receiving corrupt payments on dates in 1992 and 1997.

Businessman Jim Kennedy was the first to be arraigned.

He pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of making corrupt payments to councillors in Dublin County Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in the 1990s.

The charges allege that he gave sums of money as a reward/inducement or otherwise on account of the Councillors voting in favour of motions to have lands in Carrickmines zoned for industrial use.

When the charges had all been read out, the businessman said to the court: "Could I have it recorded that I did not know any of those councillors nor ever met them in my life".

Councillor Fox, along with former Councillors Lydon, McGrath and Cosgrave, all deny receiving corrupt payments.

The trial is due to get underway on Wednesday and is expected to last four weeks.

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