Corruption charges for former councillor

A FORMER Co Waterford town councillor, who arrived in Ireland for a wedding over the weekend, was arrested and appeared in court yesterday on corruption charges.

Fred Forsey Jr, 41, a father of three, with an address supplied at Coolagh Road, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, yesterday faced a number of charges under the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2001.

Another man, businessman Michael Ryan, 58, of Kilgobnet, Cappa, Dungarvan, also appeared in court in relation to corruption charges.

Mr Ryan, a property developer with Saltan Properties and a well-known horse owner, also has an address at the Sweepstakes, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

Mr Forsey, who previously worked as a driving instructor in Co Waterford, was accompanied by friends and family in court.

The former councillor was co-opted to Dungarvan Town Council as a Fine Gael representative in 2003, in order to fill the vacancy that arose as a result of the resignation of John Deasy at that time.

He retired from the council four years later.

The arrests are part of ongoing investigations into corruption in the county.

Det Sgt Shay Keevans yesterday gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution of Mr Forsey in Dungarvan on Monday and said the accused made “no reply” when informed of the charges.

Inspector Paul Heffernan yesterday said he had “fears” that Mr Forsey represented a flight risk as he at present has “no tenancy here”.

Insp Heffernan told Judge Gerard Haughton that Mr Forsey had been spending some time in Australia and in Britain, while Gardaí had been looking to make contact with him.

Det Keevans said: “Initially contact was made in Australia and he said he would meet us, but he went to the UK without contacting us.

“We contacted him — he had moved to Germany. We got confidential information and arrested him.”

Solicitor for Mr Forsey, Paddy Gordon, said his client had only arrived in Ireland the day before the wedding and “had intended going in” to meet gardaí in Dungarvan shortly thereafter.

He denied that his client had been in Germany.

However, Det Keevans said the accused had been in Germany and that, while he did not attend the wedding in Dungarvan, he had attended the reception.

Both men were granted consent to bail on independent sureties of €20,000, with €1,500 in cash to be lodged.

The men were ordered not to contact any witnesses connected to the case and to inform gardaí of any movement outside of the jurisdiction.

Mr Forsey must sign on at the Garda station in Dungarvan three times per week.

Judge Haughton adjourned the matter to a sitting of the District Court in Clonmel on Tuesday afternoon next.

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