Sunday 19 February 2017

Former assistant Dublin City and county manager George Redmond dies aged 92

Published 17/02/2016 | 20:49

George Redmond in 2008 after he was cleared of receiving an illegal payment. Photo: Collins
George Redmond in 2008 after he was cleared of receiving an illegal payment. Photo: Collins

Former assistant Dublin City and county manager George Redmond has died aged 92 following a short illness.

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He burst into the public consciousness when he was arrested at Dublin Airport with €300,000 in cash and cheques in his possession.

It was 1999 and Redmond was the retired Dublin County Manager – a man deemed to have extraordinary day-to-day power over planning decisions on multi-million-pound developments in the city’s capital.

When the authorities intercepted him, Redmond was on his way back from the Isle of Man. Ultimately, he was obliged to pay a settlement of almost €800,000 with the Revenue Commissioners.

The settlement obliged him to sell the family home and he always said it left him without the money to fight other legal battles through the courts.

"I was the council, I had the powers," he told one of the marathon sessions of the Planning Tribunal at Dublin Castle which examined his affairs and those of others.

Some of the Tribunal lawyers strongly suggested that this power was turned to his personal benefit. One lawyer  told a hearing that it was estimated that Mr Redmond took the value of “one substantial house per annum” in return for his “help” on various big building developments.

The Planning Tribunal ruled that he had taken corrupt payments from developers and that he hindered their investigations which denied him legal costs. Redmond always disputed these findings but also said he could not afford to pursue his case in the High Court and beyond.

Eventually, in January 2015, the tribunal findings were quoshed and taken back after new evidence emerged in other court challenges. Redmond crucially got his legal costs.

The new evidence especially involved a case brought by Joseph Murphy Junior, a developer said by the Tribunal to have bribed Redmond. Murphy’s appeal uncovered evidence that the inquiry had withheld relevant material relating to the reliability of allegations made by the late James Gogarty.

Gogarty was the main whistleblower  whose testimony had kick-started the tribunals. Had information about his reliability been available the cases against people including Redmond might never have got off the ground at all.

He died in Connolly Hospital in Blandchardstown.

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