Former FF Councillor remanded in land rezoning case

A former Fianna Fáil councillor accused of accepting money to vote for rezoning of lands in Carrickmines in Dublin in the 1990s was today remanded on continuing bail in his absence due to poor health.

A former Fianna Fáil councillor accused of accepting money to vote for rezoning of lands in Carrickmines in Dublin in the 1990s was today remanded on continuing bail in his absence due to poor health.

Sean Gilbride (aged 69) of Greenlawns, Skerries, Dublin had replied “not guilty” when he was charged on October 23 last.

The charge alleges that he received a sum at the offices of former Government press secretary and lobbyist Frank Dunlop on June 11 1992, as an inducement to or as a reward for voting in favour of rezoning of 108 acres of land in Carrickmines.

He was unable to attend two subsequent appearances at Dublin District Court due to being in hospital.

Today Mr Gilbride was due to appear at that court again to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial, however he was not present for the case.

Judge Patrick McMahon said that on a previous court date the defendant had been in Beaumont Hospital, in Dublin. He also noted the contents of a letter furnished to him by Mr Gilbride's solicitor Maureen Moynihan.

Judge McMahon remanded Mr Gilbride on continuing bail in his absence to appear again on January 27 next.

The DPP has directed trial on indictment meaning the case is to be sent forward to the Circuit Court.

In October, businessman Jim Kennedy, who is accused of corrupt payments to politicians, was returned for trial, in relation to an attempted rezoning of land owned by Jackson Way Properties at Carrickmines in 1992, and the successful rezoning of part of these lands in 1997.

Three former politicians and a councillor charged with taking bribes to vote for rezoning land in Carrickmines have been sent forward for trial.

They are: former Fine Gael councillor, TD and Senator, Liam T Cosgrave (aged 54) with an address at Merrion Park, in Blackrock, in south Dublin; former Fianna Fáil Councillor Colm McGrath (aged 54), from Swiftford, Saggart, Dublin; former Fianna Fáil Senator and Councillor Don Lydon (aged 82), of San Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue, Dublin and independent Councillor Tony Fox (aged 70) of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14.

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