Dunlop tells trial he gave councillors cash for votes
Former lobbyist says he made payments on behalf of businessman James Kennedy
“I got indications of support in some instances without reference to money, in others with reference to money.” He described the meeting of Labour Party councillors as “something of a futile exercise”.
Mr Dunlop described making cash payments of £1,000 to county councillors Sean Kilbridge, Jack Larkin, Cyril Gallagher, all since deceased, in the run-up to and after a council vote on the rezoning proposal on June 12th, 1992. He said he paid £3,000 to Fine Gael councillor Tom Hand, since deceased, in May 1992.
‘Only one currency: cash’
Mr Dunlop went on to describe making payments to the four former councillors who are on trial. Having been asked a number of times how the payments were made, he told Mr Gillane: “I don’t mean to be facetious but there was only one currency. Cash.”
He said he met Don Lydon on May 4th, 1992, at his offices at St John of God Hospital, Stillorgan. He said that Mr Lydon signed a motion to propose the rezoning of the land and he paid him £3,000.
He said he sought the support of Tony Fox for the motion and paid him £2,000 on a date between the vote on June 12th, 1992, and his holiday later in June.
The witness said he received the support of Colm McGrath and paid him £2,000 after the vote during a meeting at his offices in Clondalkin.
He said he contacted Liam Cosgrave to elicit his support for the proposal and paid him £2,000 in a meeting at either the environs of the Dáil, at Buswells Hotel or at the council offices.
Mr Dunlop said he was in the council offices when the motion to rezone the lands to industrial was voted on.
It was ultimately defeated by about two votes.
Mr Dunlop said that in 1996 and 1997 he met again with Mr Kennedy to discuss the opportunity arising from the fact that the newly formed Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county council was working on a new development plan.
Mr Dunlop said Mr Kennedy told him “quite bluntly” that he wasn’t going to give him any more money but agreed to pay £250,000 in the event of the land being rezoned.
He said Mr Kennedy acknowledged that councillors would need to be paid. During another meeting the “success fee” was changed from £250,000 to Mr Dunlop receiving the commercial value of one rezoned acre of land in Carrickmines.
Mr Dunlop said he approached Mr Cosgrave who told him it would be difficult to get the motion passed but that he would propose and support it for “a consideration” which was agreed at £5,000.
He said he paid over £2,500 to Mr Cosgrave during a meeting at the Davenport hotel on October 30th, 1997.
In December 1997 the two men met at Buswells Hotel and Mr Dunlop said he paid the accused the remaining £2,500 promised.
He said he also paid him £2,000 “in consideration of the efforts he had made in relation to another body of land in the Carrickmines Valley owned by persons other than Mr Kennedy”.
The trial continues before Judge Mary Ellen Ring and a jury of eight women and four men. It is expected to last until the end of this month.