I admit to being pleasantly surprised on seeing this headline in the Irish Independent, especially since there isn’t much to be gained publicity-wise from it (as opposed to the political benefits of a Seanie Fitz arrest).
Multi-millionaire businessman and property developer Jim Kennedy was in garda custody last night after officers arrested him for questioning about corruption and bribery allegations.
The 63-year-old man was detained by officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) — which has sought to question him for the past seven years.
Kennedy has since told Gardai he felt unwell in custody and been brought to hospital.
It is alleged Kennedy paid Frank Dunlop, the disgraced former Fianna Fáil press secretary and lobbyist, to bribe councillors in Dun-Laorghaire to rezone agricultural land in Carrickmines as industrial. The land is owned by Jackson Way, property company which is linked to Kennedy and an Isle of Man based solicitor, John Caldwell. The rezoning immediately raised the value of the lands from €7.9m to about €60m.
Any sale, transfer or disposal has been frozen by the courts since 2006. After interviewing Dunlop and county councillors, CAB officers provided an affidavit to the High Court stating they believed Kennedy and Dunlop had an agreement that Dunlop would receive the commercial value of one acre of the land (c. €60,000) if they were ‘successfully’ rezoned.
Both Dunlop and Goerge Redmond, the former Dublin assistant county manager, have served time on charges relating to corruption… maybe one day we might get on to the politicians? Ye’ know, the lynch-pins of the whole scheme with the blatant corrupt actions?
For the record; I reckon nothing much will come of the Kennedy arrest. Could be wrong, could be wrong.
Any news on that lobbyists register that you think will make a difference, dear ol’ Green Party?