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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Fred Forsey jnr hoped new business could make him millions

Fred Forsey Jr and his partner Karen Morrissey. Photo Mary Browne
Fred Forsey Jr and his partner Karen Morrissey. Photo Mary Browne
Fred Forsey. Photo: Patrick Browne

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

CORRUPT councillor Fred Forsey and his young girlfriend run a research business from their seaside home.

The thatched house, overlooking the beach in Ballinacourty near Dungarvan, Co Waterford, is just a few miles away from where Forsey's ex-wife Jenny and three children live.

Forsey (43), who was found guilty of accepting €80,000 from a developer in return for favours while he was deputy mayor of Dungarvan, will learn his fate on Thursday, when he is due to be sentenced.

He faces up to 10 years in prison under the Prevention of Corruption Act after he corruptly received three payments of €60,000, €10,000 and another €10,000 from a wealthy developer in 2006.

The rented house is just 10 minutes away from where Jenny Forsey and her children live in a small but immaculately kept two-storey house on the outskirts of Dungarvan.

The 42-year-old mum revealed on Saturday that she will not be attending Thursday's sentencing hearing. She is trying to put the case behind her but admitted "it will never be over".

Forsey's beach home offers more space and privacy than his ex-wife's.

He has a garden with a sea-view and a separate office building outside his bungalow at the end of a secluded laneway.

Forsey broke down in court after the jury of eight men and four women found him guilty on all six counts of corruption against him.

He sobbed uncontrollably and had to be helped from the courtroom.

However, the next day he was seen in town in Dungarvan going about his business.

When asked to comment on the jury's verdict, Forsey looked straight ahead and hurried to his second-hand Mercedes parked nearby.

Company records show Forsey and his lover set up a firm called Big Bro Software Limited in June of last year.

Karen Morrissey (26) is listed as company secretary while Forsey is director.

No accounts have yet been filed for the company. Activities include research and development, and engineering.

Forsey referred to the venture during his trial but was reluctant to give details about a device he created for the insurance industry, indicating it was commercially sensitive.

The Irish Independent understands he has developed telematics software or trackers for vehicles such as cars and boats that can be useful to the insurance industry.

Forsey has registered businesses for bike trackers, car trackers, child trackers and safe- drive trackers.

During his trial, Forsey said an Australian company had been keen on developing one of his ideas. He claimed it invited him back to the country where he had been living with Ms Morrissey in 2007 to sign a contract.

He said the deal was worth about €7m and could earn a profit of up to €2.1m.

Forsey's passport had been handed over to gardai after his arrest so he was unable to travel to Australia to sign the deal, he told his trial.

Suspicious

He said he sent his cousin to represent him but the other party became suspicious after he failed to show and googled his name, only to discover the corruption charge.

"He pulled out of the deal," he said.

A former council colleague of Forsey's said yesterday that he always believed he was "one step away" from making millions.

Forsey is in receipt of the back-to-work allowance, which enables him to draw the dole while running his company.

The scheme gives recipients 75pc of their weekly social welfare payment for the first year, 50pc for the second year and 25pc for the third year.

Irish Independent

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