Former Government Press Secretary Frank Dunlop has been sentenced to two years in prison for corruption, with the final six months suspended.

Frank Dunlop had pleaded guilty to five charges of corruption.

He admitted handing over money to politicians at the time of crucial rezoning votes at council meetings relating to lands at Carrickmines in Dublin.

The 62-year-old was initially charged with 16 counts of bribing Dublin City Councillors, but in January he pleaded guilty to five sample charges.

The Criminal Assets Bureau has admitted that he was a crucial witness in its investigation and the Bureau said that the only evidence of the former lobbyist's wrongdoing was supplied by Dunlop himself.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this morning Judge Frank O'Donnell said Dunlop had bribed politicians with he called long ranged criminal intent.

He said the word must go out that corruption will attract significant penalties and as a result he said the crime deserved more than a rap on the knuckles.

Judge O'Donnell said that Dunlop's motives were generated by gains.

He described Dunlop as a willing participant and said he exercised considerable influence and was perceived as having access to influence with those in higher authority, given his role in the past as a Fianna Fáil officer and Government Press Secretary.

The Judge told Dunlop that he seriously undermined the confidence of the public in the democratic system.

He said that whilst there was no such thing as a victimless crime the public and democratic system are the victims in this case.

Judge O'Donnell said Dunlop's ill health and break down of his social, family and professional life are all natural and foreseeable outcomes of his actions and should not been seen as punishment for his behaviour.

Dunlop hugged and kissed his wife and daughter in court before being taken away by prison officers.