Closing submissions focus on Gogarty's claims about Burke

 

Allegations made by Mr James Gogarty concerning a payment to Mr Ray Burke in 1989 were revisited by the Flood tribunal yesterday in closing submissions by all parties.

The final closure of the so-called "Gogarty module" came as the tribunal reached its 227th day of public hearings, one day longer than the beef tribunal, making it the longest tribunal in the history of the State.

The allegations made by Mr Gogarty led to the establishment of the tribunal. He alleged that Joseph Murphy Structural Engineering and the Murphy interests paid £30,000 and that the developer Mr Michael Bailey gave a matching amount to Mr Ray Burke in June 1989 for planning favours.

The inquiry was based on 726 acres of land in north Co Dublin which Mr Bailey's company, Bovale Development Ltd, bought from JMSE.

Mr Gogarty also alleged that Mr George Redmond, the former Dublin city and county manager, was paid £15,000 for help in planning matters.

Yesterday Mr Brian O'Moore SC, for Mr Gogarty, said other parties had claimed Mr Gogarty had come to the tribunal for a "terrible revenge". However, Mr O'Moore asked why an 80year-old man would go on a "frolic of his own", as had been alleged, in an elaborate snare to be revenged.

Mr Garrett Cooney SC, for JMSE and the Murphy interests, said Mr Gogarty alleged Mr Joseph Murphy jnr was involved in the payment to Mr Burke and linked to a payment to Mr Redmond. However, Mr Murphy denied this, and it had been shown that he was in London on certain dates in June which gave the lie to Mr Gogarty's allegations.

"If Mr Gogarty's lying, he is telling a lie of monstrous proportions," Mr Cooney said. Mr Colm Allen SC, for the Baileys, said the stark focus was on Mr Gogarty's credibility. What was evident from Mr Gogarty's evidence was his absolute fury with what he perceived to be the malign attempts of the Murphy interest to deprive him of his pension.

"It is plain as a pikestaff he was here with an agenda, which was to get the Murphys," Mr Allen said.

Mr Aidan Walsh, counsel for Mr Burke, said none of the land had been rezoned except for 10 per cent over 10 years.

"The donation of £30,000 was received by Mr Burke as a political donation, and this was corroborated by some of the other evidence," he said.

Mr Redmond's solicitor, Mr Anthony Harris, said his client acknowledged he got £25,000 but that this was for introducing Mr Gogarty to Mr Michael Bailey. Mr Gogarty said Mr Redmond received £15,000 which he seemed to link to the payment to Mr Burke.