Fianna Fáil councillor criticised over failure to disclose document

A FIANNA FÁIL councillor has been criticised by the Flood Tribunal yesterday over his failure to make a full discovery of documents relating to the inquiry’s investigation into alleged planning corruption.

Tony Fox, a long-serving member of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council, was ordered by tribunal chairman, Mr Justice Feargus Flood to produce a new affidavit after his lawyers produced previously unseen correspondence as evidence during yesterday’s hearing.

Mr Justice Flood said Cllr Fox gave no good explanation why the documents were not given to the tribunal before. In reply, Mr Fox’s barrister, Breffni Gordon said the documents, which included correspondence between his client and Frank Dunlop, only came to light during the week.

Mr Fox, a former chairman of the council, has denied ever receiving any money from Mr Dunlop including

legitimate political donations.

Lawyers for Mr Fox did not challenge Mr Dunlop’s assertion yesterday that he had given Mr Fox a donation for the 1991 local elections after a company for whom he had lobbied the politician declined to contribute to his election fund.

Mr Dunlop has alleged he made two payments totalling £7,000 to Mr Fox in return for support of rezoning motions on lands owned by two offshore companies, Paisley Park and Jackson Way at Carrickmines in the 1990s.

He claims Mr Fox sought money on both occasions for voting in favour of attempts by the tax exile businessman, Jim Kennedy to have the lands rezoned.

Mr Dunlop said he paid the Fianna Fáil councillor £2,000 in 1992 and another £5,000 five years later. He also said he made other payments to Mr Fox whom he described as “reliable”.

Under cross-examination, Mr Dunlop said Mr Fox remarked in 1992 that he would “need to look after others”. Although the politician did not identify anybody, Mr Dunlop recalled he had mentioned another councillor on another occasion in that context.

However, Mr Dunlop agreed with Mr Fox’s barrister that he had no proof that the councillor had ever paid any money to a political colleague.

Meanwhile, the former Government press secretary challenged the denial by former Taoiseach John Bruton that he was informed that the late Fine Gael councillor, Tom Hand had once issued a demand for £250,000 for his support of a property development.

Mr Dunlop has told the tribunal he made a complaint to the former Fine Gael leader in 1992 at a meeting in the Red Cow Hotel about Mr Hand’s demand for such a large sum of money for his support of the controversial Quarryvale development.

Mr Dunlop agreed with Mr Gordon’s observation that either he or Mr Bruton was telling lies.

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