George Redmond was a man of considerable ability and intelligence who had "an unshakeable belief in himself," mourners at the funeral of the former assistant Dublin city and county manager have been told.
“It was the Gospel according to George, that’s the way it was with him,” Mr Redmond’s son John told mourners at his funeral yesterday (Fri) morning.
Hundreds of friends and former colleagues and associates of the 92-year-old retired Dublin Corporation official attended the funeral at St Mochta’s Church in Porterstown, west Dublin. He died on Wednesday morning in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, after a short illness.
Mr Redmond retired as Dublin assistant city and county manager in 1989 after a life-long career in the corporation during which he received large sums of money from builders and developers.
He spent much of his retirement under investigation for corruption by the planning tribunal and the Criminal Assets Bureau, throughout which he maintained his innocence.
The celebrant, Fr Paul Ward, described Mr Redmond as a Christian man who was "in the public service for many years". His "public persona" was well-known but his private life was best known to his family and he was very much "a family man".
He lived a full and fruitful life and had many interests, including reading and sport, Fr Ward noted.
“He was not always an easy man,” Mr Redmond said of his father, recalling their many “heated arguments” in the past over matters that, he said, were best not commented on. “You could say that we agreed to differ.”
The attendance included former associates of Mr Redmond, including Tom Brennan and Joe McGowan, who were Ireland's leading builders in the early 1970s.
Mr Brennan paid Mr Redmond large amounts of money over many years, much of it the proceeds of winning from bets placed on horses, Mr Brennan once told the tribunal.
Members of Castleknock golf club and a number of tennis clubs of which he was a member were prominent among the attendance, along with neighbours from Castleknock and family friends.
Mr Redmond's former solicitor Anthony Harris and barrister, Brendan Grehan SC, were present.
Prayers of the faithful recited by the deceased’s grandchildren highlighted his interest in history, his full life and the good care he received in Connolly Hospital.
Mr Redmond told mourners his father was “a man of his time” in that he was a “hands-off Dad” and left his wife Maureen to “do the heavy lifting”. In later years, however, he took to his role as a grandfather.
He was always a keen sportsman through his life, playing badminton, squash, tennis and golf, the latter two sports into his later years. Mr Redmond recalled playing his father twice in squash and being “hammered” both times.
In his later years, his father became “the best slow driver in Dublin” and a “low-risk road hazard” as he journeyed between the tennis club and home.
A few days before he went into hospital for the last time, he got into the car and made sure it was running: “He was preparing for a journey that he knew he wasn’t going to complete”.
A 2004 tribunal report found George Redmond corruptly received payments from Mr Brennan and others but these findings were withdrawn a decade later on foot of legal proceedings.
A later finding in the tribunal's final report - that he was complicit in former Fianna Fáil TD Liam Lawlor's attempt to demand £100,000 corruptly from developer Tom Gilmartin - still stands.
Mr Redmond was also jailed for a year on criminal charges of corruption, but this judgment was quashed and he was released early. A subsequent attempt to retry him did not result in a prosecution.
Mr Redmond, who was cremated after requiem mass, is survived by his wife Maureen, sons David and John, and sister June.