Lydon links donations with influence

Friday 02 May 2003 15.47

Fianna Fáil Senator, Don Lydon, has said he believes developers give money to politicians in the hope of influencing them.

Mr Lydon told the Flood Tribunal that most developers stood to make millions and threw money around like confetti.

He added that their election donations were an attempt to create a goodwill factor with councillors.

However Senator Lydon insisted that councillors do not bow to the pressure, even though they take the money.

He said he never thought to refuse donations. That is the way the political system is, he added.

However Mr Lydon said he would prefer if election campaigns were publicly funded instead.

He also denied concealing his own donations from developers from the Fianna Fáil inquiry three years ago.

Inquiry Chairman, Mr Justice Fergus Flood, asked if he was still telling the Tribunal that £5,000 was dropped into his lap by a developer and he forgot about it. Mr Lydon said he had.

Senior Counsel for Frank Dunlop, Colm Allen, said he had demonstrated a memory that was seriously flawed and that his most frequent answers were that he did not know or could not remember. Senator Lydon responded that he could not make it up.