Dunlop links millionaire to planning corruption allegations

FORMER lobbyist Frank Dunlop has linked one of the country’s best known businessmen, Joe Moran, with allegations of planning corruption over the rezoning of lands near Swords, Co Dublin, in the early 1990s.

The Kerry-born millionaire, who is the chairman of two publicly quoted companies - financial services group IFG and household products suppliers IWP - has been identified as being involved in a company which paid Mr Dunlop to bribe councillors.

Mr Moran has admitted authorising payments totalling £27,625 to Mr Dunlop in 1993 for his role in securing the rezoning of the lands. However, he denies any knowledge that any of this money was paid over to members of Dublin County Council in return for their support of efforts to rezone property owned by one of his companies.

The tribunal heard yesterday that Mr Moran was involved in a company called Rayband which paid £277,500 for 18.5 acres of land adjoining the main Dublin-Belfast road at Lissenhall in 1989.

Others behind Rayband include IFG chief executive Richard Hayes and businessman Michael Hughes.

Mr Dunlop claims he paid a bribe of £1,000 each to three councillors - the late Cyril Gallagher, Tony Fox (both FF) and the late Tom Hand (FG) - for their support of the rezoning.

All three have also been linked by Mr Dunlop to other corrupt payments. Both Mr Fox and Mr Gallagher - before his death - denied the allegations but admitted receiving political donations from Mr Dunlop. Mr Hand died before the establishment of the tribunal.

Mr Dunlop said he made it clear to representatives of Rayband, including Mr Moran’s brother, Colm, that there “would be a requirement for the payment of monies to councillors” to ensure support for the rezoning of their land.

The allegation is rejected by both brothers. Joe Moran has told the inquiry that he believes no payments of any kind were made to councillors on behalf of Rayband.

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