Evidence to Flood `should be in private'

 

The Flood planning tribunal should hear in private any allegations made by a key witness, Mr James Gogarty, against the former assistant Dublin city and county manager, Mr George Redmond, Mr Justice Kelly said in the High Court yesterday.

The court was told that Mr Gogarty is to give evidence to Mr Justice Flood beginning on January 12th. Mr Redmond, who retired 10 years ago, has been subpoenaed to appear.

Mr Redmond, in an affidavit, said there were essentially two allegations against him. Firstly, Mr Gogarty claimed to have had two meetings with him in 1988 about planning permission for lands at Forest Road, Swords, Co Dublin, in which Mr Redmond would be paid for advice.

Secondly, there was an allegation that Mr Redmond received an envelope which Mr Gogarty believed contained £15,000 in cash at a meeting between Mr Redmond, Mr Gogarty, Mr Frank Reynolds, Mr Michael Bailey and Mr Joseph Murphy jnr at Clontarf Castle in June 1989.

This payment was allegedly to compensate Mr Redmond for the fact that the group of companies controlled by Joseph Murphy snr was not going to engage Mr Redmond as a consultant although there was, said Mr Redmond, also a deliberate implication that it was reward for services rendered in the past.

Mr Redmond said these allegations were without foundation. While he did meet Mr Gogarty in 1988 and gave advice in relation to Forest Road, he never had any agreement or understanding whereby he would be paid for such advice, nor did he expect payment.

He never met Mr Joseph Murphy jnr or Mr Frank Reynolds. Not only were the allegations untrue, but they were demonstrably absurd and utterly inconsistent with other documents furnished by Mr Redmond to the tribunal.

Mr Justice Kelly granted Mr Redmond leave to seek an order of prohibition and a judicial review of a decision of the Flood tribunal to conduct a public inquiry into allegations by Mr Gogarty against Mr Redmond.

Flood hearing should be private, judge says: page 6