Jackson Way obstructing planning inquiry, declares tribunal

THE Flood Tribunal has declared that the British company, Jackson Way Properties, is now obstructing the progress of the inquiry into alleged planning corruption.

Such a finding could see Jackson Way, which is currently seeking a 47m compensation bill from the State, ultimately being hit with a massive bill for legal costs by the tribunal.

Tribunal chairman, Mr Justice Feargus Flood, said yesterday that it was “manifestly clear” that the company no longer had any intention of assisting the inquiry.

His comments came following the unexpected announcement by Dublin solicitor Stephen Miley that he had ceased to represent Jackson Way.

The tribunal heard that Jackson Way had now been advised by its new English solicitor that it should not swear an affidavit of discovery as ordered by the tribunal. Mr Miley had acted for both Jackson Way and solicitor John Caldwell after they were granted limited legal representation by the tribunal last October.

The tribunal is investigating allegations that Jackson Way paid £10,000 to Frank Dunlop to bribe councillors to rezone its property at Carrickmines. The inquiry is also examining claims that Mr Caldwell, businessman Jim Kennedy and former TD Liam Lawlor were the beneficial owners of both Jackson Way and Paisley Park, another offshore company which was the property’s previous registered owner.

However, Mr Justice Flood said the matter wasn’t as simple as allowing Mr Miley to go “off record” as Mr Caldwell had appeared to exercise complete control over Jackson Way.

The chairman of the three-judge tribunal was concerned that Mr Miley still appeared to act for Mr Caldwell given that he had previously stated he was the company’s beneficial owner.

Mr Miley continued to have Jackson Way documentation in his possession which was subject to a tribunal order for discovery, said Mr Justice Flood.

He was concerned that Jackson Way documentation held by Mr Miley and Mr Caldwell would not leave or be moved from the jurisdiction.

Ian Finlay SC said Mr Miley was happy to give an undertaking as an officer of the courts that nothing would happen the documents in his possession “irrespective of any attitude taken by the company in England”. Mr Finlay said he would have to take instructions with regard to Mr Caldwell.

The tribunal ordered Mr Caldwell to attend a sitting on January 22 to explain his situation with Jackson Way.

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