Sunday 18 February 2018

Dunlop tells trial: I lied to tribunal and kept a 'war chest' of funds

Nicola Donnelly

A FORMER political lobbyist has told a trial he was dishonest while giving evidence at the Flood Tribunal and that he previously had a "war chest of funds" bank account and money stashed at home.

Frank Dunlop made the admissions during the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial of three former councillors and a sitting councillor who are accused of receiving corrupt payments in relation to council votes in June 1992 and October 1997. Businessman James Kennedy (66) is charged with making the payments.

Mr Kennedy, of Cormorant Way, Queens Quay, Gibraltar, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of making corrupt payments between June 1992 and October 1997 to members of Dublin County Council to rezone land at Carrickmines as industrial.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillor Tony Fox (72), of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, Dublin; former councillors Colm McGrath (56), of Swiftwood, Saggart and Donal Lydon (74), of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue; and Liam Cosgrave (57), of Merrion Park, Blackrock, have all pleaded not guilty to corruptly receiving money at various locations in Dublin on dates in June 1992 and October 1997 as inducements to rezone lands.

Prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane has already told the jury that evidence will be heard that Mr Kennedy corruptly gave money to named councillors through Mr Dunlop so that votes could be secured in relation to the rezoning of lands owned by Mr Kennedy.

Under cross-examination by Michael O'Higgins, defending Mr Kennedy, Mr Dunlop (65) admitted that he was dishonest for two days during the Flood Tribunal in April 2000.

"I don't believe I told a lot of lies," said Mr Dunlop when Mr O'Higgins questioned whether he was an honest person.

However, he admitted: "I was not always honest. I became dishonest in 2000 when asked a question in the tribunal about a bank account and I didn't give a truthful answer."

Mr Dunlop claimed that on the advice of Mr Justice Flood at the time he "told the truth and the whole truth" after being dishonest about a 'war chest' bank account.

When Mr O'Higgins put it to Mr Dunlop that he had a "couple of dodgy bank accounts", the witness agreed.

"One of these was at AIB in Rathfarnham," suggested Mr O'Higgins.

Mr Dunlop replied: "Monies I received from other people, which would be concealed from everyone, including Revenue, were lodged in the account. It was a war chest for funds or distribution. It was dishonest."

Mr Dunlop agreed with counsel that he kept a large stash of money, between £75,000 and £80,000, at his house to be "dished out" during a time when a motion was being passed on May 12, 1992, to have lands owned by Mr Kennedy at Carrickmines rezoned as residential or industrial.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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