Trial begins of five men on corruption charges related to land rezoning in south Dublin

The accused include three former councillors and a sitting councillor

 

Five men have gone on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on charges of giving or receiving corrupt payments in relation to the rezoning of land in south Co Dublin.

The accused include three former councillors and a sitting councillor who are accused of receiving payments for voting to rezone lands at Jackson Way in Carrickmines.

The fifth accused, businessman James Kennedy (66), is charged with making corrupt payments to politicians at a number of locations in Dublin city, including Conway’s pub, Buswells Hotel, the Davenport Hotel and the offices of Frank Dunlop.

Mr Kennedy said to the court: “Can I have it recorded that I did not know any of those councillors nor ever met them in my life?”


16 counts
Mr Kennedy, of Cormorant Way, Queen’s Quay, Gibraltar, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of making corrupt payments between June 1992 and October 1997 to members of Dublin County Council to rezone land at Carrickmines as industrial.

Colm McGrath (56), of Swiftwood, Saggart, Co Dublin, pleaded not guilty to corruptly receiving money on a date between June 12th and 29th, 1992, in favour of voting for the rezoning of the same land.

Donal Lydon (74), of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue, Co Dublin, pleaded not guilty to receiving a sum of money at St John of God’s on May 4th, 1992, for voting to rezone the land.

Liam Cosgrave (57), of Merrion Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, pleaded not guilty to five counts of corruptly receiving money on dates between June 1992 and December 1997.

Tony Fox (72), of Mountainview Park, Churchtown, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to five counts of corruptly receiving money on dates between June 1992 and October 1997.

Judge Patricia Ryan told the jury that the property central to the indictment concerns 108 acres of land beside the M50, between Carrickmines and Bray, known as Jackson Way.

The trial will begin hearing evidence on Thursday and is expected to last until the end of July.