George Redmond to get priority hearing of his appeal
FORMER assistant Dublin city and county manager George Redmond is to get a priority hearing of his appeal against an order halting his action aimed at overturning corruption findings made against him by the planning tribunal.
Seeking priority in the Supreme Court today, Angus Buttanshaw BL, for Mr Redmond, said the matter was urgent on grounds including his client is aged 88. While in good health at present, Mr Redmond's age was a factor to be taken into account, counsel said.
Patricia Dillon SC, representing the tribunal, supported the application for a priority hearing and Mr Justice John Murray said he would list the case in the court's priority list.
Mr Redmond is appealing the High Court's ruling last March halting his civil action against the tribunal aimed at overturning the corruption findings made against him. The tribunal is cross-appealing the High Court decision permitting Mr Redmond's challenge to a costs order made against him by the tribunal.
In his High Court decision, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan struck out Mr Redmond's challenge to the findings of corruption because of the six year delay in advancing those. He agreed with the tribunal that delay had prejudiced its right to a fair trial.
However, the judge said Mr Redmond was entitled to proceed with his challenge in relation to the costs issue.
Mr Redmond had claimed the delay in prosecuting the case was excusable because of concealment by the tribunal of documents which would have enabled him test the credibility of its main witness, the late James Gogarty.
He also argued he was awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court decision in relation to an action by another tribunal party, Joseph Murphy Structural Engineering (JSME). That April 2010 decision had a bearing on his case as it was critical of the tribunal's failure to provide documents in advance to JMSE witnesses at the tribunal, he said.
Yesterday, Mr Buttanshaw said the case would be made that documents that should have been made available to Mr Redmond were withheld. That had only become apparent from the Supreme Court judgments in the JMSE case in the course of which Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman had described some of material held back as "dynamite", he said.
Mr Redmond was in the Supreme Court today for the brief mention of his case.
The case was initiated in 2005 as a result of the tribunal's finding in its third interim report of 2004 that Mr Redmond 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. That conviction was overturned on appeal as unsafe and he was released after six months.
He was retried in 2008 on two separate corruption charges but the jury failed to reach a verdict on the first count and he was acquitted on the second.