Wednesday 23 October 2019

Minister seeking investigation on claims that council paid protection money to criminals

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy (Niall Carson/PA)
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy (Niall Carson/PA)

Caroline O’Doherty

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has said he can not condone local authorities paying protection money to criminals to safeguard against anti-social behaviour at construction sites.

Mr Murphy said Dublin City Council was carrying out an internal investigation into claims it made such payments to known criminals and he would be getting a report when their inquiries were concluded.

The High Court heard evidence on Tuesday that Dublin City Council staff had advised construction companies to employ known criminals to ‘protect’ their sites as the council had done itself.

The court is hearing a Criminal Assets Bureau case against Derek ‘Dee Dee’ O’Driscoll of Crooksling, Saggart, Co Dublin  and David Reilly of Croftgrove, Ballyfermot, Dublin.

Mr Murphy said he heard of the claims for the first time in media reports of the court proceedings.

“Obviously we can’t condone any type of behaviour that would support criminal activity,” he said.

“Dublin city council are looking into this, they’re investigating it with their own staff and when they’ve done that they’ll report back to me.

“If the reports are accurate, I can’t condone that kind of activity or officials from any local authority’s involvement in that type of activity. but I need to hear more information. This is the first I heard of it.

“Dublin City Council have assured me through officials that they are investigating it and will report back to me when that investigation is finished.”

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