Monday 18 December 2017

Former councillor at centre of corruption probe freed on bail

Conor Kane

A FORMER politician accused of receiving corrupt payments totalling €80,000 from a well-known property developer and racehorse owner was granted bail yesterday after spending a week in custody.

Fred Forsey Jnr (41), with an address at Coolagh Road, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, is facing six corruption charges which allege that he received payments of €60,000, €10,000 and €10,000 from developer Michael Ryan (58), of Kilgobnet, Cappa, Dungarvan, in 2006.

The payments are alleged to have been made as an inducement or reward to Mr Forsey to use his then position as a Fine Gael member of Dungarvan Town Council to make representations to officials and members of the county and town councils in support of a planning application made by Mr Ryan's company, ORS Partners.

Mr Ryan is also facing six charges relating to making the alleged corrupt payments on August 25, October 10 and December 22, 2006.

A father of three, Mr Forsey was co-opted to Dungarvan Town Council in 2003 after current Fine Gael TD John Deasy vacated his seat, but retired from politics in 2007. He also worked as a driving instructor before moving abroad in 2007.

He was arrested the weekend before last after returning home for a wedding.

The investigation into possible planning corruption in Waterford began when a member of the public gave information to Mr Deasy, who immediately contacted gardai.

When Mr Ryan and Mr Forsey were first brought before Waterford District Court last week, they were both granted bail on independent sureties of €20,000.

Mr Forsey did not make bail at the time but was able to meet the conditions yesterday at Clonmel District Court.

Judge Gerard Haughton adjourned the case until September 22.

Irish Independent

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