Tuesday 20 March 2018

DPP drops charges in councillors bribery trial

Jim Kennedy
Jim Kennedy
Jim Kennedy
Frank Dunlop

Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Editor

THE Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn all charges alleging Jim Kennedy used political lobbyist Frank Dunlop to bribe councillors.

THE Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn all charges in a criminal trial which alleged businessman Jim Kennedy used political lobbyist Frank Dunlop to bribe councillors to rezone potentially valuable land in South Dublin.

Earlier this week former senator and county councillor Don Lydon was discharged from his corruption trial following legal discussions.

The case had continued against former councillors Liam Cosgrave and Colm McGrath, sitting councillor Tony Fox and Mr Kennedy who all denied the charges against them.

Mr Dunlop was the central witness for the prosecution in the trial which been running for the last four weeks.

But this morning, the DPP entered a nolle prosequi -a decision not to prosecute - against Mr Kennedy and all of the councillors including Mr Lydon.

It can now be revealed that Mr Dunlop has been suffering from poor health.

Mr Kennedy (66) of Cormorant Way, Queens Quay, Gibraltar, has pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of making corrupt payments between June

1992 and October 1997 to councillors to rezone the land.

Last Monday the jury were told that Mr Lydon (74) was no longer on trial before them.

Mr Lydon of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue had pleaded not guilty to corruptly receiving money at various locations in Dublin on dates between June 1992 and October 1997 as inducements to rezone lands in Carrickmines as industrial while he was a Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillor.

Mr Fox (71) of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, Dublin, Mr McGrath (56) of Swiftwood, Saggart and Mr Cosgrave (57) of Merrion Park, Blackrock, denied similar offences.

The jury was told by trial judge Mary Ellen Ring that the decision of the DPP brought matters to an end.

"It is unfortunate that you and the community  is involved in a trial that comes to an end as this does," said Judge Ring, excusing the jury for seven years.

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