A 71-year-old man was jailed in Dublin today for obstructing the work of the Garda Criminal Assets Bureau.
Part-time office manager Tom McGrath, who was sentenced to three days inprison, was said to have hidden a file of interest to the CAB in a photocopying machine when officers called at a solicitors’ office in thecentre of Dublin.
McGrath was later granted bail pending an appeal.
The CAB was searching the office in connection with assets linked to criminal activity in relation to an on-going tribunal of inquiry into planning irregularities in Dublin.
The bureau’s Detective Inspector John McDermott told the District Court that McGrath had taken a file and concealed it in a compartment of the photcopier during Thursday’s search.
The file, which the detective inspector said was of interest to the CAB, was later found.
Counsel Alan Toal told the court McGrath had worked with Binchy’s, the solicitors involved in the search operation, since 1968. He had believed the papers were not relevant and his action had been carried out without the sanction, knowledge or approval of his employers.
Mr Toal added that there had been no deliberate attempt to deceive and said McGrath was of previously unblemished character.
A spokesman for the solicitors’ later said McGrath had made a rash decision under pressure.