Well I'll be… Councillors charged with corruption

Via Conor Pope on Twitter

The Irish Times: Former Dublin City councillors Tony Fox, Colm McGrath, Sean Gilbride, and Don Lydon charged with corruption.

More details soon, I’d expect.

UPDATE: Bit more context. All deny it.

Lydon is the guy who put Trevor Sargent in a headlock in a panic after Sargent waved a cheque from a builder in the air at a council meeting and asked “who else got one of these?”

He went on to become a Fianna Fáil senator.

Gilbride was an unsuccessful Fianna Fail general election candidate in 1987 and and 1989. He was a councillor in Balbriggan. Here’s a 2006 report from the Indo on the Mahon Tribunal hearings

Former FF councillor Sean Gilbride took a career break from his teaching job to canvass for the Quarryvale development and also for a seat in the Dail, the Mahon Tribunal heard.

Developer Owen O’Callaghan paid him IR£15,500 for his efforts but the bill was never invoiced to Mr O’Callaghan’s company, Riga.

Yesterday Clare Cowhig, the auditor who prepared the accounts for Riga, told the tribunal that she had not looked for an invoice from Mr Gilbride.

She had been told by Mr O’Callaghan’s business partner, John Deane, what this IR£15,500 was for and accepted it without an invoice as the amount was small in the overall context.

But tribunal counsel Patricia Dillon put it to her that if she was prepared to accept the word of a director in the absence of an invoice for the payment to Mr Gilbride, then it was conceivable this could be done in relation to other items in the accounts.

A corrupt payment of €1,000 to Mr Gilbride was also included in the list of charges against disgraced former Fianna Fáil press officer and lobbyist, Frank Dunlop.

Tony Fox was a Fianna Fail councillor in Dundrum. He was removed from the ticket as a candidate in the recent local elections by party headquarters following the charges against Dunlop. He ran as an Independent and won a seat in DL-Rathdown.

Frank Dunlop described Colm McGrath as Mr Insatiable according to this December 2000 Indo report…

FORMER Fianna Fáil Councillor Colm McGrath, the man dubbed “Mr Insatiable” by Frank Dunlop, is now alleged to have received at least £60,000 in payments to assist in rezoning.

The Flood tribunal was told on Friday that he received £30,000 in cash to assist in the rezoning of part of one of Europe’s leading breeding farms Airlie Stud in Lucan from agricultural to residential lands in 1993. The payments followed persistent demands by McGrath, who originally wanted £50,000 in cash from Sonja Rogers widow of Captain Tim Rogers, renowned thoroughbred breeder, former aide de camp to Winston Churchill and a close friend of Charles Haughey.

He ran in the recent local elections as an independent but failed to win a seat.

Amazing how these things happen on a Friday afternoon, isn’t it?

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