Tale of deceit and corruption all booked up

Forget Harry Potter and Roy Keane. The Flood Report is the hottest book in town.

The tale of corruption and deceit in the Irish planning system has had punters flocking to bookshops and ordering over the phone to get a look at what Mr Justice Feargus Flood has to say about Mr Burke & Co.

And all for the price of just 1.

Most major book stores should have the hefty tome on their shelves by mid-week.

Inside are 170 pages divided into 19 chapters, with modules on Tom Brennan and Joe McGowan, Century Radio and James Gogarty, followed by the mouth-watering summary and conclusions.

Already plans are afoot for another print run as the first 8,000 copies of the planning tribunal’s second interim report have been snapped up.

The Office of Public Works (OPW), which oversees all Government publications, said demand for the report is above and beyond anything previously experienced.

The tribunal - formally the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments - ordered the knock-down price so that every member of the public could buy it and read its findings. The cost of printing each copy is 12 and the difference will be absorbed into the tribunal’s budget.

In scenes reminiscent of the long-awaited Ansbacher Report published last July, hundreds of people queued outside the Government Publications Office yesterday.

“The content and the price have made it a huge attraction to the public. We ran out of copies before lunchtime,” said a spokesperson for the Government printing press.

They had re-stocked again by afternoon but the crowds just kept coming back for more. They queued within view of Leinster House, where Ray Burke served as a Fianna Fáil TD for 24 years.

While much of the content deals with north Dublin, Eason booksellers have had huge interest from customers at their 15 stores around the country.

“It’d be hard to beat Roy Keane’s sales, and Government publications don’t normally have this type of appeal,” said Bernard Hoban, Eason’s book merchandising manager.

“I suppose the media attention has been so huge that people just want to have a look.”

The Flood Tribunal reconvenes shortly but while justice is being seen to be done, it is being done slowly.

The public would be well advised not to hold its breath waiting for the final part of the trilogy.

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