Wednesday 21 February 2018

No postponement of George Redmond's tribunal costs action

Tim Healy

A HIGH Court judge has refused to postpone his order allowing former assistant Dublin city and county manager George Redmond sue for his legal costs for appearing before the Mahon Planning Tribunal.

Last March, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan ruled Mr Redmond cannot sue the tribunal over corruption findings it made against him.

But the judge said he could challenge the refusal to grant him his legal costs of being represented at the tribunal.

The judge ruled in March that a six-year delay by Mr Redmond in pursuing his civil action against the tribunal was inordinate and inexcusable.

Mr Redmond had claimed the delay was excusable because of the concealment by the tribunal of documents which would have enabled him to test the credibility of its main witness, the late James Gogarty.

The tribunal found in its 2004 third interim report that Mr Redmond (87) had received a corrupt payment in relation to planning matters and had also obstructed its work.

Separately, Mr Redmond was convicted of corruption in 2003 and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment following a majority jury verdict - though this was later overturned on appeal as unsafe and he was released after six months.

In 2005, Mr Redmond initiated a High Court action seeking to quash the tribunal findings against him. Last January, the tribunal asked the High Court to dismiss his case over the delay.

Mr Justice Gilligan ruled that having done "effectively nothing over a period in excess of six years" and having only recently prepared a statement of claim, the lapse of time in Mr Redmond bringing his case was "simply too great".

However, the judge also said, the tribunal had not satisfied him that to allow the costs aspect of Mr Redmond's claim to proceed would be unfair to it (tribunal). The balance of justice favoured allowing the costs issue to go ahead.

Today, during a ruling by Mr Justice Gilligan in relation to the order made following his March decision, the judge was told that an appeal and a cross appeal against his ruling had been made to the Supreme Court.

Patricia Dillon SC, for the tribunal, asked for a stay on the costs element of his decision pending that appeal but this was opposed by Angus Buttanshaw BL, for Mr Redmond.

Mr Justice Gilligan said he would not grant a stay on any part of his order and any application for such a stay should be made to the Supreme Court.

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