Former council official tries to challenge Flood decision

 

A former Dublin city and county assistant manager, Mr George Redmond, asked the Supreme Court yesterday to allow him to challenge the Flood tribunal's decision to hear in public allegations of corruption that have been levelled against him.

Mr Redmond (74), who retired 10 years ago, has in court described as "untrue" and "absurd" an unproven assertion made by a tribunal witness, Mr James Gogarty, of his allegedly having received a £15,000 payment for services rendered to a development group.

He appealed a decision in the High Court before Christmas granting him only limited relief in his attempt to stop the tribunal hearing Mr Gogarty's evidence in public when Mr Justice Flood sits again on January 12th next.

Mr Gerard Hogan SC, Mr Kevin Feeney SC and Mr Angus Buttanshaw argued for a full judicial review of the Flood tribunal decision on the grounds that it was ultra vires the powers of the Tribunals of Inquiry Evidence Act.

Mr Hogan submitted that when the tribunal sat in private to consider whether or not Mr Gogarty's allegations constituted a sufficient case to proceed to full public inquiry, it erred in having failed to hear submissions to the contrary from Mr Redmond's legal team. Mr Redmond, in an affidavit, told the court there were essentially two allegations made against him.

Mr Gogarty claimed to have had two meetings with Mr Redmond in 1988 about planning permission on lands at Forest Road, Swords, Co Dublin. He alleged that Mr Redmond had advised on a way around planning permission restrictions under an agreement that he would be paid for such advice.

Mr Gogarty also alleged that at a meeting in June 1989 Mr Redmond had received an envelope which Mr Gogarty believed contained £15,000 in cash. Mr Redmond said there was a deliberate implication that it was aq reward for services rendered in the past.

Mr Redmond told the court these allegations were without foundation. While he had met Mr Gogarty in 1988 and advised on lands at Forest Road there had never been any agreement or understanding that he would be paid.

Not only were the allegations untrue, they were demonstrably absurd and utterly inconsistent with other documents furnished to Mr Redmond by the tribunal. He described the allegation of receiving £15,000 cash as "pure fantasy" on Mr Gogarty's part.

The Chief Justice, Mr Justice Hamilton, Mrs Justice Denham, Mr Justice O'Flaherty, Mr Justice Murphy and Mr Justice Barrington reserved their decision.