Letter seeks a `wider remit' for tribunal


The following is the text of the letter sent to party leaders at Leinster House yesterday by Newry solicitors, Donnelly Neary & Donnelly.

30 September 1997

Dear Sir

Re: Terms of Reference of the proposed Planning Tribunal

I am instructed to write to you on behalf of my clients, the sponsors of the £10,000 reward for information leading to conviction on indictment of persons for rezoning offences.

Mr James Gogarty first responded to the posting of this reward more than two years ago.

It was this that first attracted the attentions of journalists to Mr Gogarty's allegations and led to the incremental and piecemeal publication of these allegations in the media.

This drip-feeding is obviously undesirable.

Against this background I have been asked by my clients to state that the following points are pertinent to the proposed Tribunal of Inquiry:1. Allegations concerning the lands which are the subject of the "Magill" article relate to more than one elected representative.

2. Donnelly Neary and Donnelly has 52 allegations concerning planning and rezoning around the Country but particularly in Dublin. Some of these allegations are frivolous and most do not lead me to believe that criminal proceedings would be likely to ensue.

Nevertheless most of them appear to have been made in good faith and some of them seem prima facie to give cause for concern.

Six of these have been forwarded to the Garda but more warrant proper investigation. Several of those making allegations made it clear they needed guarantees, which neither my clients nor I were able to provide, before they would put their allegations in writing or in the public domain.

Three of the allegations which were not forwarded to the Garda were made by former Dublin County Councillors.

3. By reason of the above and in order to avoid the drip-feed of allegations our clients feel that the proposed Tribunal should have a wider remit than current statements seem to indicate is likely.

The most realistic terms of reference, they feel, would take in planning and rezoning matters in Dublin County since 1986.

4. Our clients feel that a sifting of allegations as was conducted by the Scott Inquiry in England should be conducted as a preliminary measure to ensure only substantial allegations are pursued.

Yours sincerely,

Donnelly Neary & Donnelly

Kevin J Neary