The trial of Mr George Redmond on corruption charges which was due to begin next Monday has been adjourned until May 2007 at the earliest because of a recent spate of "adverse media publicity".
Lawyers for the former Assistant Dublin City and County Manager have written to the Director of Public Prosecutions inviting him to prosecute a number of parties, including the Sunday Times and the Irish Independent, for contempt of court following the recent coverage of Mr Redmond.
Mr Redmond (82) has pleaded not guilty to receiving IR£10,000 on a date between June 1, 1985 and June 1, 1986 as an inducement or reward for doing or forebearing to do anything in respect of a compulsory purchase order by Dublin City Council on 167 acres of land situated at Bussardstown and Coolmine.
In applying for the latest in a series of adjournments of the trial Mr Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Redmond, told Judge Joseph Matthews that a number of articles had appeared in recent weeks which were prejudicial to his client in the run up to his trial.
Mr Redmond's trial was last adjourned in February 2006 on the grounds that there would be an unavoidable risk of an unfair trial due to negative media coverage and Judge Matthews then adjourned the hearing to allow for a "fade factor" to operate.
Mr Grehan today/yesterday said that this "fade factor" had not succeeded in undoing the damage caused by previous adverse publicity and presented a number of recent articles to Judge Matthews including items which appeared in The Irish Independent, The Evening Herald and The Sunday Times.
Mr Grehan said that the appearance of such coverage was due to "highly reckless editorial decisions" and drew particular attention to an article which appeared in The Sunday Times on November 5, 2006.
Mr Grehan told Judge Matthews that the defence has written to the DPP in relation to prosecuting newspapers concerned for contempt of court.
Judge Matthews said it was necessary in a case "as acute as this" to adjourn the trial for a period of not less than six months and gave leave to the defence and The State to apply for further adjournment in the intervening period if there is further publication of prejudicial material.