Saturday 24 February 2018

Businessman ‘paid councillors through Frank Dunlop’ to rezone lands, court hears

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

BUSINESSMAN James Kennedy corruptly paid Dublin councillors "money for votes" through lobbyist Frank Dunlop, to rezone lands in which he had an interest, Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

Opening the case against five men on trial for allegedly giving or receiving corrupt payments in the 1990s for voting to rezone lands, prosecutors have claimed that "the core of the case is corruption".

Prosecutor Sean Gillane SC has told a jury of eight women and four men that Frank Dunlop was retained by Mr Kennedy and struck an agreement  - including an agreed "success fee" of IR £100,000 in the event that rezoning of the lands was successful.

Mr Dunlop, described as a "significant" witness in the case, will say that he received IR£25,000 in a context that was made clear councillors would have to be made in an attempt to rezone the land.

"The core of the case is corruption," said Senior Counsel Sean Gillane.

"The case alleges the giving of money to vote and support motions to rezone land and portions of the land".

Mr Kennedy (66) of Cormorant Way, Queens Quay in Gibraltar has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of corruptly giving money to members of Dublin County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on dates in 1992 and 1997 in exchange for votes in favour of motions to have lands in Carrickmines zoned for industrial use.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councillor Tony Fox of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, along with former politicians Colm McGrath of Swiftwood, Saggart, Donal Lydon of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue and Liam Cosgrave of Merrion Park, Blackrock - all in Dublin - are also being tried for allegedly receiving corrupt payments on dates in 1992 and 1997.

They deny the charges.

The trial is expected to last for four weeks.

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