Garda file into claims against planning official sent to DPP

Moves comes after investigation into claims of impropriety against former An Bord Pleanála deputy chairman Paul Hyde

Gardaí have sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions after an investigation into claims of impropriety against former An Bord Pleanála deputy chairman Paul Hyde.

The submission of the Garda file comes as the planning authority nears completion of an internal review, ongoing for five months, of hundreds of decisions made by Mr Hyde and other matters. Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has said the planning board’s reviewers were examining “further allegations of wrongdoing” but the precise nature of such allegations has not been disclosed publicly.

There was no comment from Mr Hyde, who has always denied any wrongdoing, on the submission of the Garda file to prosecutors. “A file went to the DPP late last week,” a Garda spokesman said in response to questions, without naming anyone.

Mr Hyde resigned in July after facing claims of conflicts of interest in certain decisions. The Garda investigation began in August after Mr O’Brien referred a senior barrister’s report on the affair to the force and also to the DPP and the Standards in Public Office Commission.


The planning authority had no comment on the submission of the Garda file to the DPP. Its own internal review started in April and in late May it said it would wrap up within four weeks, but that target and others were not met.

“The examination/review process and report has not yet been completed,” said a spokesman for An Bord Pleanála.

“We intend to complete and send to our external legal agent for legal analysis before the end [of] this week.”

The spokesman said the planning authority’s chairman Dave Walsh had on Monday sent observations to the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) on a separate draft report from a statutory review of the authority’s systems and procedures.

The conclusions of the draft report and Mr Walsh’s response to them remain unclear.

“At this point in time we would consider those comments to be private between the chairperson and the OPR as part of an ongoing deliberative OPR process,” a spokesman for the planning authority said.

“On that basis we do not think it is appropriate to now reveal the nature or detail of any of the comments.”

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley is Current Affairs Editor of The Irish Times