The planning tribunal has published a revised version of its report on George Redmond, from which all conclusions and adverse findings against the former planning official have been removed.
Findings of corruption against Mr Redmond (90) and two businessmen, Michael Bailey and Joseph Murphy jnr, which appeared in the original report, have been removed from the redacted version. A separate finding that Mr Redmond, Mr Bailey, Mr Murphy and a fourth businessman, Frank Reynolds, hindered and obstructed the tribunal has also been removed.
The changes were made on foot of an agreement made by the tribunal and lawyers for Mr Redmond during settlement of his High Court action against the inquiry last month. In the High Court, the tribunal agreed to withdraw the original report, published in 2004, and to remove all adverse findings in it about Mr Redmond. It also agreed to pay his legal costs.
The redacted report runs to 14 pages, compared with 21 pages in the original, and largely confines itself to a narrative account of the relationships between Mr Redmond and the other men.
It does, however, retain an account of Mr Redmond’s financial history during a career that ended on a net salary of £19,000 (€24,125) when he was assistant Dublin city and county manager until his retirement in 1989.
Since the 1960s, he was in receipt of regular and substantial payments from builders and developers, the redacted report states. During this time, he lodged sums to his many bank accounts that were multiples of his salary, equivalent in value to “one substantial house per annum free”. “These accretions cannot be explained as being the proceeds of savings from Mr Redmond’s salary or the interest earned on savings.”
Mr Redmond said the money was paid for advice given on a variety of topics, none of which damaged the interests of his employer, Dublin Corporation. At the time the tribunal started in 1998, Mr Redmond had cash deposits of £350,000 (€444,408), of which £194,000 (€246,329) was held offshore in the Isle of Man.
Mr Redmond’s success in overturning the findings of the tribunal has opened the way for others to seek to have adverse findings against them overturned.
The tribunal has already written to a number of parties, including former Fianna Fáil minister Ray Burke, to say the findings of hindering and obstructing its work are being withdrawn. The tribunal will also pay their costs where these have been withheld up to now.