Sunday 15 September 2019

Video: Property developer denies corruptly paying €80,000 to former councillor Fred Forsey

Conor Kane

A PROPERTY developer has pleaded not guilty to three charges of making corrupt payments totalling €80,000 to a politician in 2006.

Michael Ryan (60), with addresses at Al Eile Stud, Dungarvan, Co Waterford and The Sweepstakes, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, denies making corrupt gifts to then-town councillor Fred Forsey Jnr by crediting his bank account in Dungarvan with payments of €60,000, €10,000 and €10,000 in August, October and December of that year.

Witnesses scheduled to give evidence for the State include Fine Gael TDs John Deasy and Paudie Coffey, former and current Waterford County Council and Dungarvan Town Council members and officials; gardai, bank staff and Mr Forsey’s wife Jenny Forsey.

The corrupt payments are alleged to have been made as an inducement or reward to Mr Forsey to use his position as councillor to secure a change in the planning status of a piece of agricultural land outside Dungarvan, to permit housing or industrial development.

According to the three charges, the payments were intended to induce or reward Mr Forsey, acting in his capacity as a member of Dungarvan Town Council, to solicit county council members or officials to support the land redesignation, and by exerting his influence on policy at the town council in support of the development.

Evidence in the trial at Waterford Circuit Court is expected to begin today (Wednesday) after a jury was sworn in yesterday to hear the case.

The trial, before the jury of 10 women and two men as well as Judge Donagh McDonagh, is expected to last about a week and a half.

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