Jury fail to agree verdict on second count in Redmond trial

The George Redmond corruption trial has ended with the jury acquitting him on one charge and failing to agree a verdict on the second count.

The George Redmond corruption trial has ended with the jury acquitting him on one charge and failing to agree a verdict on the second count.

The jury found him not guilty of receiving a £10,000 bribe from the late Fianna Fáil councillor, Mr Patrick Dunne, "as a reward for showing favour to another" in relation to a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on 167 acres of land at Buzzardstown and Coolmine, in north-west Dublin when he was an assistant county manager.

Later, the jury foreman told Judge Joseph Matthews it was unable to reach the required majority of 10-1 on the second charge that Mr Redmond got the money "as an inducement" in respect of the CPO.

The jury's disagreement on the second charge came after four hours and 35 minutes deliberation on day-18 of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and after it spent one night in a hotel.

Judge Matthews thanked the three women and eight men for their "obvious care and attention to all the detail of a lengthy trial" and excused them from further service for five years if they wished.

Mr Redmond (aged 83) of College Gate, Castleknock, who retired from the public service in June 1989, had pleaded not guilty to the two charges of receiving the £10,000 from the late Mr Dunne on a date between October 10, 1985 and June 26, 1989. The CPO was made in 1980.

The case will be mentioned in June at the court when the Director of Public Prosecutions will announce if a further trial will be held on the outstanding charge.

The trial continued with 11 jurors after one of the original members sworn in realised he was a distant relative of someone reported previously as being associated with Mr Redmond in relation to the case.

The juror was discharged after legal argument on the matter and was commended highly by Judge Matthews for what he called "your honesty and great integrity in bringing this matter to the court's attention".

The trial arose out of Mr Redmond's arrest on February 19, 1999 at Dublin Airport when he arrived from the Isle of Man carrying a bag in which there were bundles of Irish and sterling notes and four stockbroker cheques with a total value of about IR£300,000.

Later, he told gardaí he that the money he was carrying came from 'nixers' he did while he was assistant Dublin county manager.

"I did a lot of consultancy work, moonlight sessions out of hours," he said.

He said he had received cash payments from builders, contractors and other businessmen and had opened an offshore account in the Isle of Man which he kept secret from his wife who was a tax official.

Mr Redmond told gardaí he got £10,000 from Mr Dunne who was Fianna Fáil whip on Dublin County Council at the time.

"Pat Dunne paid me £10,000 in relation to a compulsory purchase of land in Buzzardstown owned by a man called Seagrave. I don't really know why I was paid the £10,000 but I accepted it."

Mr Redmond later made a statement to the Flood (now Mahon) Tribunal retracting this purported admission and apologising to gardaí and Mr Dunne's family.

He initially told the Tribunal he didn't know why he said this to gardaí and later said he gave Mr Dunne's name as a "balance" to the others he identified.

The jury heard Mr Redmond joined Dublin Corporation (City Council) in 1941 as a temporary clerk on an annual salary of £70 and was appointed assistant city and council manager in 1977. He retired at the compulsory age of 65 in 1989 on a salary of £32,000 a year.

When asked why he had the £300,000 after he returned from the Isle of Man, he said he kept it in a deposit account and had let the money build up.

"I live a very abstemious life," he said. "I never spend more than £20 a week."

He told a garda in reply to a question: "I grew up in dreadful poverty in the North Inner City and it was a fear of a return to this poverty that made me a miser".

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