Dempsey brother: 'I'm not involved in Garda probe'
Published 23/11/2003 | 00:11
JEROME REILLY THE brother of Education Minister Noel Dempsey, named in media reports as a principal of a company under Garda investigation over property deals, has insisted that neither he nor his partner have been contacted by any garda or the Mahon tribunal.
The Sunday Independent has learned that controversial private investigator Billy Flynn has been retained by a Navan publican at the centre of the allegations, and has sent the lengthy files to both the gardai and the Mahon tribunal which sparked the media reports.
But Loman Dempsey said he was astonished that allegations and innuendoes had been published and that the gardai appear to have said they are launching an investigation - "without them coming near us in any shape or form".
He said: "If there is an investigation, wouldn't it be fair that we are informed?"
Dempsey says he has consulted his legal team.
"Our reputations have been shredded and no gardai have come near us.
"Is this the right way for the gardai to conduct their business?" he said.
Dempsey said he had no idea what the motive was for the campaign, which he claims is being waged against him and his partner, Navan auctioneer Mr Raymond Potterton.
The controversy has rumbled on for years and centres on property deals involving the sale of two pieces of land in 1995 and 1999, by Navan Urban District Council and Meath County Council respectively, to a company called Ericase whose principals include Loman Dempsey and Potterton.
One of the sites was located at the back of Jim Curry's pub, Everard's, in Market Square, and the other was at the Mullaghboy industrial estate just outside the town.
The site behind Curry's pub, in a tax-designated area, was eventually developed into a major apartment complex.
Curry claims he was told by council officials that the site was to become a car park and would be compulsorily purchased if he did not sell.
Both claims are flatly denied by council officials. Curry said he would never have sold the land to the council if he knew it was going to be sold on and used to build apartments.
The two deals have already been the subject of a review carried out independently by senior officials from the Department of the Environment, when Noel Dempsey was minister, which found no basis for a formal inquiry.
When Curry was contacted by the Sunday Independent on Thursday and asked if he had retained the services of Flynn, he denied it, adding that he had "told only the truth over the years since the controversy began".
But on Friday, Flynn confirmed he was acting on behalf of the Navan publican.
The Mahon tribunal declined to comment on whether it was involved in any investigation in relation to Navan.