Belfast Telegraph

Dublin City Council denies paying protection money to two criminals

The local authority is to carry out an investigation following reports criminals were paid ‘protection’ money to allow council houses to be built.

Drew Harris said investigations are ongoing (Brian Lawless/PA)
Drew Harris said investigations are ongoing (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Aine McMahon PA

Dublin City Council has said it did not pay protection money to two criminals so that council houses could be built.

On Wednesday, the High Court heard that officials from the council were aware and recommended that protection money be paid to two criminals so that social housing could be built in west Dublin in 2016 and 2017.

Three firms, who were delivering the homes for the council, were giving 1,200 euro and 1,500 euro a week to the criminals to stop attacks on workers, the court was told.

The court also heard council officials were aware of what was happening and recommended the money was paid.

In a statement, Dublin City Council said no payments were made by them to the two men.

It said the site in question experienced anti-social behaviour over the years and the development was intended to address the problem of the behaviour.

“The city council was aware of an extraordinary level of intimidation and criminal activity directed at this contractor’s staff, the city council’s own staff and at the building site.”

It said the council is concerned that two of its officers were identified in the High Court on Wednesday without regard to their personal safety and without having been given notice.

“It is worth pointing out that both of these officers co-operated fully with the CAB investigation,” read the statement.

Dublin City Council said it is arranging for an independent investigation to be carried out into all aspects of its involvement in this matter.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told RTE news the investigations are ongoing and there may be more to emerge around the incident.

“We have not reached the conclusions in our investigations with regards to that and I know that Dublin City Council are doing a review of this. There may be more in respect of that and I don’t want to go much further than because I don’t think they or I can give the concluding comment,” he said.

Dublin city councillor Danny Byrne has called for a special meeting with the chief executive of Dublin City Council to explain why the money was paid.

“As a member of the council I am very concerned at these revelations and I intend to quiz the council management on this matter,” he said.

PA

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