Former Dublin city and county manager George Redmond passes away at 92

By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner Political Reporter

A highly controversial senior public servant who was a central figure throughout the Mahon tribunal into chronic planning corruption in Ireland has died after a short illness.

Retired assistant Dublin city and county manager, George Redmond, passed away on tonight in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin, at the age of 92.

The central figure in the corruption saga, which engrossed the nation and still impacts on planning matters to this day, spent almost half a century working as a key public servant in the capital after joining the Dublin local authorities in 1941 and leaving 48 years later.

However, it is his time in the witness box in Dublin Castle during the long-running Mahon tribunal - which heard claims he received illicit payments to the value of "one substantial house per annum" in return for assisting developers - is how he is destined to be most remembered.

In lengthy evidence to the hearings, which lasted from 1997 to 2012, Mr Redmond - who at one point said "I was the council, I had the powers" over lucrative planning deals - was questioned over how he had amassed €444,408 in cash deposits by 1998, €246,329 of which was held in an offshore Isle of Man account.

In its third interim report in 2004, the tribunal found Mr Redmond had received a corrupt payment in relation to planning matters and had attempted to obstruct the investigation's work.

However, after a 10-year legal battle it withdrew the findings on December 19, 2014, with Mr Redmond receiving his legal costs.

Mr Redmond was separately convicted of criminal corruption in 2003 and sentence to a year in jail, but six months into the sentence it was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

In 2008 he was re-tried on two separate corruption charges. However, the jury failed to reach a verdict on the first and he was acquitted on the second.

After his retirement in 1989 the criminal assets bureau investigated how Mr Redmond had amassed his wealth. They subsequently arrested him in Dublin airport in 1999, when he was in possession of €300,000 worth of cash and cheques - a situation that ultimately resulted in a near-€800,000 revenue commissioners settlement.

Mr Redmond died on Tuesday night in Blanchardstown.

He is survived by his wife Maureen and sons David and John.

 

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