Late George Redmond disputed tribunal’s findings

91-year-old spent much of retirement under investigation by the Planning tribunal, CAB

For much of George Redmond’s career in Dublin Corporation, he was the most powerful figure in planning in County Dublin and enjoyed close relationships with builders and developers.

For much of George Redmond’s career in Dublin Corporation, he was the most powerful figure in planning in County Dublin and enjoyed close relationships with builders and developers.

 

The death has occurred of former Dublin county planning manager George Redmond, who spent much of his retirement under investigation by the Planning tribunal and the Criminal Asset Bureau.

Mr Redmond (92) died peacefully in a Dublin hospital on Tuesday night after being unwell for some time, according to sources.

For much of his career in Dublin Corporation, he was the most powerful figure in planning in County Dublin and enjoyed close relationships with builders and developers.

After his retirement in 1985, he came under investigation by the tribunal, which found in a report published in 2004 that he was corrupt. Ultimately, he was vindicated when the inquiry last year agreed to withdraw this report and remove all adverse findings against him.

The changes were made on foot of an agreement made by the tribunal and lawyers for Mr Redmond during settlement of a long-running High Court action against the inquiry.

From Dublin’s northside, he attended “Joey’s” Christian Brothers school and O’Connell’s School before joining Dublin Corporation in 1941.

Payments

By the mid-1960s, he was in receipt of regular payments from builders and developers, the tribunal found.

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,” it said.

He was associated with many prominent businessmen of the era, including builder Matt Gallagher, hotelier PV Doyle and Tom Roche senior of National Toll Roads.

Mr Redmond said the money he received was paid for advice given on a variety of topics, none of which damaged the interests of his employer. 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.

In the 1990s, his activities were investigated by the tribunal and the Criminal Assets Bureau. He said he gave advice when asked and never solicited money. In 1999 he was arrested at Dublin airport with £300,000 (€380,000) in cash and cheques on returning from the Isle of Man. This led to a £782,000 tax settlement with the Revenue Commissioners. He paid this by selling the family home.

Overturned

He spent months in the witness box in Dublin Castle over a decade ago. In 2003, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court convicted him of corruption, and he was sentenced to a year in prison. Six months later, the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned the verdict and he was released after serving half his sentence.

He was prosecuted a second time on other corruption charges in 2008. The jury found him not guilty in one case, and couldn’t reach a verdict in the other.

Mr Redmond always disputed the tribunal’s findings and started a High Court case to overturn them. But without the resources to pursue the action, it went nowhere until new evidence emerged in other cases.

That led to the withdrawal last year of the 2004 report and the unravelling of the original findings against him.