Dunlop denies protecting senior politicians

FORMER lobbyist Frank Dunlop has denied he’s protecting senior politicians and that he has evidence of corruption in tax designation schemes.

David Burke SC, yesterday accused Mr Dunlop of being happy to sacrifice small fry councillors only to protect large fish.

Mr Burke, who is representing the estate of the late Fine Gael councillor Tony Hand, made the accusation at the Mahon Tribunal.

Mr Dunlop denied he has evidence of corruption in tax designation schemes. He told Judge Alan Mahon that he said he had no direct knowledge of corruption in the way particular housing or shopping centre developments are given tax breaks.

Mr Burke referred to private interviews Mr Dunlop had with the inquiry which have only been made public following a High Court order.

One interview includes a discussion about tax designation in which Mr Dunlop goes off the record. Mr Dunlop insisted that he was not protecting anyone, but could not remember the unrecorded discussion.

Judge Mahon said the tribunal would have to inquire further into the matter. But he admitted this would be difficult as no “off the record” notes were kept.

The former lobbyist earlier admitted giving “inaccurate” information to the tribunal about payments he received for a rezoning in North Dublin.

Mr Dunlop initially said he received “not less than £5,000” from Rayband Ltd, authorised by builder Joe Moran, when he made his statements in October 2000.

But the inquiry subsequently established that Mr Dunlop received a total of £27,625 for his efforts in getting lands at Lissenhall, Swords rezoned as light industrial in 1993.

Under cross-examination by counsel for Rayband, Mr Dunlop also admitted he could have checked his estimate with financial records when he made this statement.

Mr Dunlop claims he paid councillors Tony Fox (FF), the late Cyril Gallagher (FF) and the late Tom Hand (FG) £1,000 each to vote for the rezoning.

Rayband shareholders deny Mr Dunlop’s claims that they were told councillors would have to be bribed.

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