FF made vote instructions, says PR man

FIANNA FÁIL has been sharply criticised by Frank Dunlop for suggesting the party did not attempt to instruct its members on Dublin Co Council how to vote on planning issues during the late 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Dunlop told the Flood Tribunal yesterday such a claim was "retrospective, high-minded rubbish about a whip system that flies in the face of the facts. People were told what the attitude of the party was to a given development," he stressed.

Mr Dunlop said a whip was operated very carefully by an unnamed Fianna Fáil councillor up to June 1991.

He repeatedly told the inquiry a nexus of councillors consisting mostly of Fianna Fáil members and some Fine Gael councillors could organise the vote of a majority of the local authority to secure the passing of controversial rezoning motions.

The PR consultant said Fine Gael generally operated a more benign whip system, whereby the party's councillors would defer to the opinion of members living in the area of a proposed development.

However, he believed some Fine Gael politicians were unaware that a certain number of their colleagues were very disposed towards supporting rezoning issues, regardless of their individual merit or value.

In other evidence, the PR consultant said businessman, Jim Kennedy, had become quite irate when he had contacted a solicitor to ask questions about Jackson Way Properties two years ago.

It is widely believed that Mr Kennedy, who is refusing to co-operate with the tribunal, is the ultimate beneficial owner of Jackson Way.

Mr Dunlop claims he was paid £35,000 by the Isle of Man-based tax exile during the 1990s to bribe politicians to support the rezoning of lands owned by Jackson Way in Carrickmines in south Dublin.

He pointed out that Mr Kennedy got quite irate after learning Mr Dunlop phoned solicitor, Stephen Miley

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