Sunday 24 September 2017

Scandal unravelled as daughter received text intended for lover

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

WHILE it was Jenny Forsey who blew the whistle on her former husband's corruption, it was Fred Forsey himself who lit the touch paper which ignited the scandal.

The former Fine Gael councillor saw his web of lies unravel when he sent a text message, intended for his mistress, to his then 15-year-old daughter.

In so doing, he set in motion a series of events which ultimately saw him convicted of taking €80,000 in corrupt payments and jailed for four years.

Mrs Forsey was portrayed by the defence as hell-bent on revenge, but Judge Gerard Griffin, speaking at Mr Forsey's corruption trial last year, praised the mother of three for her "civic mindedness" in giving evidence against her ex-husband.

Mrs Forsey revealed how, with the couple's finances seemingly in disarray in the summer of 2006, Mr Forsey suddenly took family on holiday to Rome.

On their return, her husband began kitting out the family home. She told the court how Mr Forsey told her he had received €30,000 from a developer for doing some work for him.

However, that October the couple split after 16 years of marriage when Mrs Forsey learnt of her husband's affair with Karen Morrissey. Ms Morrissey was just 20 when she began seeing Mr Forsey.

Mrs Forsey told her ex-husband's trial that she was so upset that one day she crashed her car into the wall of Mr Forsey's house. She told the court she didn't realise the car was in reverse, but agreed "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

In April 2007, Mrs Forsey called local Fine Gael Waterford TD John Deasy to tell him that she suspected her husband had taken bribes, and he advised her to go to the gardai.

Two months later, Mr Forsey resigned his seat on Dungarvan Town Council after receiving a phonecall from Mr Deasy asking him to quit. The following month, Mr Forsey and Ms Morrissey moved to Australia.

However, in July 2010 while back in Ireland for a wedding, Mr Forsey was arrested and later charged with corruption.

In June 2012, the 44-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison, two of which were suspended, having been found guilty of six counts of corruption.

Irish Independent

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