DEVELOPER’S “MOST UNUSUAL” PAYMENTS

June 24, 2008
TODAY PATRICIA DILLON, Senior Counsel for the Tribunal, cross-examined Owen O’Callaghan – the Cork based developer who, it has been alleged, paid bribes in the early 90s totalling IR£80,000 to the then Minister for Finance, Bertie Ahern.

Later Senior Counsel Patrick Quinn questioned O’Callaghan’s solicitor John Deane about a series of sums, IR£25,000, IR£40,000 and IR£15,000, which O’Callaghan paid to lobbyist Frank Dunlop. Dunlop then distributed the payments to local councillors in order to secure their support on a crucial land rezoning vote. The first payment was made from Owen O’Callaghan’s company Riga Ltd the morning of the vote, 16th May, 1991.

Former developer Tom Gilmartin told the Tribunal that O’Callaghan had told him he paid two bribes to Mr Ahern (IR£50,000 & IR£30,000) in order to expedite the development of the Liffey Valley Centre in West Dublin. Mr O’Callaghan responded today, saying Gilmartin’s testimony was “total rubbish”.

The Tribunal also asked questions of O’Callaghan’s solicitor and business partner, John Deane about several stormy meetings he had with O’Callaghan’s chief rival in the development of a 300 acre site near Palmerstown called Quarryvale. Gilmartin purchased the tract of land adjacent to the newly built, N4 motorway accruing loans of IR4,500,000 from AIB.

Tom Gilmartin’s company, Barkhill Ltd, held Quarryvale’s equity.

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