Redmond could face further corruption charges

GEORGE REDMOND, who is serving a 12-month prison sentence on corruption charges, could face further criminal prosecutions for the same offence after the latest interim report by the Planning Tribunal found he had received bribes from two businessmen in the late 1980s.

Former tribunal chairman Mr Justice Feargus Flood concluded that the 79-year-old pensioner corruptly obtained five-figure sums from JMSE owner Joseph Murphy Jnr and property developer Michael Bailey in return for planning favours.

Mr Justice Flood said he was satisfied that the former council official received 10% of the money which JMSE saved as a result of a strategy he devised to limit the company’s exposure to planning levies for a site at Forest Road, Swords. He estimated the sum given to Mr Redmond by Mr Murphy Jnr as not less than £12,246.

He made a similar finding for a series of payments totalling between £16,000 and £20,000 which Mr Bailey paid the former assistant Dublin city and county manager some time in 1988 or 1989.

Mr Justice Flood also ruled that Mr Redmond as well as Mr Bailey, Mr Murphy Jnr and another JMSE executive, Frank Reynolds, had obstructed the inquiry. The finding could make them liable to be prosecuted under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1979.

Anyone convicted of such an offence can face a maximum prison sentence of two years and a fine of €300,000.

The report also concluded that Mr Redmond had deliberately concocted an allegation that former JMSE director James Gogarty gave him £25,000 some time in the late 1980s. Mr Redmond claimed the payment was in return for introducing Mr Bailey to Mr Gogarty as a purchaser of the Forest Road site.

However, Mr Justice Flood ruled that the retired official had manufactured the claim to disguise money he received from JMSE companies for other reasons.

He said £15,000 which Mr Redmond received from Mr Murphy Jnr at a meeting in Clontarf Castle in July 1989 could not be deemed corrupt. He explained that the payment was made when Mr Redmond was no longer working with the local authority.

The tribunal’s third interim report was released by the Clerk of the Dáil yesterday after it was decided that there was no need to seek a High Court direction on its publication.

Although the report on Mr Redmond was compiled at the same time as the tribunal’s landmark report of September 2002, Mr Justice Flood decided to withhold its publication to avoid prejudicing Mr Redmond’s trial on corruption charges which concluded last month. He is due before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on February 20 to face two unrelated corruption charges about another planning issue at Buzzardstown in the late 1980s.

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