Cosgrave in court on zoning corruption charges

Wed, Oct 27, 2010, 01:00

A FORMER Fine Gael politician has appeared at the Dublin District Court to face charges of taking corrupt payments in relation to rezoning of lands in Carrickmines in Dublin in the 1990s.

Liam Cosgrave (54), Merrion Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, who was a politician for 23 years, was arrested at 1.30pm yesterday.

Det Garda Martin Harrington of the Criminal Assets Bureau told the court that Mr Cosgrave had replied “not guilty” at the Bridewell Garda station after five charges were put to him.

They relate to the attempted rezoning of land owned by Jackson Way Properties at Carrickmines in 1992 and the successful rezoning of part of these lands in 1997.

It is alleged he received sums as an “inducement” or “reward” between June 12th and June 29th, 1992; on December 23rd, 1997, at Buswells Hotel, Dublin, and on October 30th, 1997, at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin.

Judge Patrick McMahon was told that the Director of Public Prosecution had directed a “trial on indictment”, meaning the case is to be heard before a judge and jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The former councillor, TD and senator, who is a son of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, remained silent during the brief proceedings yesterday.

There was no objection to bail and Judge McMahon consented to an application by the State for Mr Cosgrave to be remanded on his own bond of €200, to appear again tomorrow when he is to be served with a book of evidence.

Businessman Jim Kennedy, who faces 16 counts of making corrupt payments to politicians, will also appear in the District Court tomorrow.

Three former Fianna Fáil Dublin city councillors and one current member of Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown council are also due in court then to be served with books of evidence.

They were charged last Friday evening with receiving sums for voting for the rezoning of 108 acres of land in Carrickmines on dates in 1992 and 1997.

Seán Gilbride (69), Greenlawns, Skerries, Co Dublin, allegedly received a sum at the offices of lobbyist and former government press secretary Frank Dunlop between June 11th and June 29th, 1992.

Colm McGrath (54), Swiftford, Saggart, Dublin, allegedly received a sum at his office in Clondalkin, between June 12th and June 29th, 1992.

Former senator Don Lydon (82), Stillorgan Park Avenue, Dublin, allegedly received a sum at St John of God Hospital in Dublin, on May 4th, 1992.

Independent councillor Tony Fox (70), Mountainview Park, Churchtown, Dublin, allegedly received sums on October 30th, 1997, as well as at some time between October 30th, 1997, and December 25th, 1997, and between June 12th and June 29th, 1992.