Saturday 24 February 2018

Jury discharged in corrupt payouts trial

Conor Kane

THE trial of a property developer accused of making corrupt payments to a politician in 2006 came to an abrupt end when the jury had to be discharged.

Judge Donagh McDonagh told the jury on the fifth day of the trial of Michael Ryan (60), pictured, of The Sweepstakes, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, that "an issue" had arisen and the result was that he had to withdraw the trial from the jury.

Mr Ryan denies charges of making corrupt payments totalling €80,000 to then town councillor in Dungarvan, Fred Forsey Jnr, in August, October and December of 2006.

The payments are alleged to have been a reward or inducement to Mr Forsey to use his position as a councillor to help secure the rezoning of a piece of land outside Dungarvan.

The millionaire developer wanted to rezone the 32 hectares of agricultural land at Ballygeoghegan, Dungarvan, to allow the construction of industrial units and "executive" houses.

The end to the trial followed a morning of legal discussions in the absence of the jury, which cannot be reported as Mr Ryan is due to be tried again in April.

"A matter has arisen," Judge McDonagh told the jury when they returned to the courtroom at Waterford Circuit Court, "which, in my judgment, has made it unsafe to continue."

He withdrew the trial from the jury and discharged them.

Mr Ryan was remanded on continuing bail, to appear again at the court on April 9.

Irish Independent

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