Multi-millionaire businessman and property developer Jim Kennedy was in garda custody last night after officers arrested him for questioning about corruption and bribery allegations.
The 63-year-old man was detained by officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) -- which has sought to question him for the past seven years.
Mr Kennedy left the country in 2001 and bought a mansion in the Isle of Man. He subsequently moved to Gibraltar, where he currently lives with his wife in a luxury apartment.
He returned to Ireland to give evidence in a High Court case in which the CAB is seeking to recover €53m from property company, Jackson Way Properties over alleged corrupt enrichment, as a result of the sale of lands at Carrickmines in south county Dublin.
He attended the first day of the hearing in the Four Courts yesterday and left the complex in the company of his wife, daughter and solicitor.
CAB officers arrested Mr Kennedy at Arran Quay and brought him for questioning to Irishtown garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. He was held in custody overnight and can be detained, without charge, for a maximum of 24 hours.
He is alleged to have paid money to former government press secretary Frank Dunlop to bribe councillors to ensure that the Carrickmines land was rezoned.
Dunlop was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to corruption and was released from prison earlier this year. He is also giving evidence in the CAB case in the High Court.
Mr Kennedy consistently refused to reply to requests from the Flood/Mahon tribunal to give evidence on a number of issues, including the rezoning and ownership of the Carrickmines lands.
He was linked to the disgraced former Dublin assistant county manager, George Redmond, who also served a jail sentence. The Mahon tribunal heard that the two met regularly in Mr Kennedy's amusement arcade in Westmoreland Street in the centre of Dublin.
Originally from Abbeyleix, Co Laois, since he moved abroad he has had addresses in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Switzerland.
During a varied business career, he has worked as a farmer, auctioneer, publican, amusement arcade owner and property speculator.
In the past, Mr Kennedy described Dunlop as a "gangster", who "made millions" from other people.