Kennedy 'emphatically' denied Dunlop accusations

Wednesday 17 July 2013 19.48
Jim Kennedy 'emphatically' denied ever giving money to lobbyist Frank Dunlop during garda interviews
Jim Kennedy 'emphatically' denied ever giving money to lobbyist Frank Dunlop during garda interviews

Businessman Jim Kennedy "emphatically" denied during garda interviews that he gave money to lobbyist Frank Dunlop, the Circuit Criminal Court heard today.

Mr Kennedy, 66, with an address at Queens Way, Gibraltar, is pleading not guilty at to corruption over the rezoning of lands at Carrickmines, in south Dublin.

Mr Dunlop has testified that Mr Kennedy gave him IR£25,000 in 1991 to buy councillors' votes for a rezoning.

Four then councillors; Liam Cosgrave, 57, with an address at Blackrock, Co Dublin, Don Lydon 74, with an address in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Colm McGrath, 56, of Saggart, Co Dublin and Tony Fox, 72, of Churchtown, Dublin, deny getting a total of £19,000 in bribes.

Today, Detective Garda Martin Harrington of the Criminal Assets Bureau was asked about interviews Mr Kennedy gave following his arrest in 2010.

Mr Kennedy told gardaí he did not know any of the councillors that Mr Dunlop claimed to have paid.

He also denied knowing anything about an attempt to rezone his Jackson Way lands in 1992.

Mr Kennedy said Mr Dunlop and Liam Lawlor were 50/50 in a PR company and he would not involve them because they were too expensive.

He said £25,000 was enough to buy a small house back then.

He said that the smell of Mr Lawlor was enough to put him off Mr Dunlop.

Mr Kennedy said if anyone had talked about paying bribes he would have gone to the police.

He was asked why Mr Dunlop would have served time after admitting to corruption.

Mr Kennedy said he "had a knife in me" since 2000 over a land deal in Baldolye.

Mr Kennedy had bought 20 acres effectively landlocking 250 acres that Mr Dunlop had an interest in, and the two men could not reach an agreement on services for it.

Mr Kennedy also said Mr Dunlop was a self-confessed criminal who had perjured himself to the tribunal and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Under cross-examination by Michael O'Higgins SC for Mr Kennedy, Det Garda Harrington denied that the main priority for the Criminal Assets Bureau was to secure a proceeds of crime order against his client.

He denied that a criminal prosecution was necessary to secure it.

Det Garda Harrington pointed out that the file in the criminal case was sent to the DPP in 2004, while the High Court application under the proceeds of crime order was not made until 2006.

He admitted that files had been sent to the DPP in respect of six other matters, but he did not know what the current situation was regarding these.

Alleged payment

Det Garda Harrington was asked about the alleged payment to then Cllr Liam Cosgrave of £2,000 in December 1997 in Buswells Hotel.

Under deposition, Mr Dunlop had said that the payment was an ex-gratia payment made without prior agreement or prior obligation.

Det Garda Harrington said he could not comment on what Mr Dunlop said on deposition.

He was also asked about Mr Dunlop saying during his garda interview that Mr Kennedy got his rezoning by default because other landowners in Carrickmines had been told by official planners to include more land in the application.

He replied that this was a note of an interview and was not further explored at the time.

Det Garda Harrington said that in the case of Mr Kennedy, an investigation was carried out, a file was sent to the DPP and directions were received from the DPP.

Legal advice was obtained about the Proceeds of Crime Application and acted upon.