Irish Republican News · October 28, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Charges brought in corruption cases
Charges brought in corruption cases
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Five former politicians charged with taking bribes were sent forward for trial today as the 26 County state began to grapple with the legacy of institutional corruption.

Almost two decades after the alleged bribes took place -- for rezoning of lands in Carrickmines in Dublin in the 1990s -- the five are to face a judge and jury.

Former Fine Gael councillor, TD and senator, Liam Cosgrave with an address in Blackrock in south Dublin, faces five charges.

The son of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave is alleged to have received sums as an “inducement” or “reward” on dates in 1992 and 1997 to favour key planning decisions.

Cosgrave is alleged to have received “brown envelope” payments -- named after the traditional manner in which cash is handed to politicians -- to help turn low-value farmland into lucrative development properties.

Former Fianna Fail councillor Colm McGrath, former Fianna Fail senator and councillor Don Lydon, former Fianna Fail councillor Sean Gilbride and Independent councillor Tony Fox are also accused of receiving payments.

Businessman Jim Kennedy, who is accused of numerous counts of corrupt payments to politicians, was also served with a book of evidence today and sent forward for trial before a judge and jury.

Mr Kennedy, with addresses in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and elsewhere, was remanded in custody to faces 16 charges of corrupt practices.

FAS COVER UP?

However, new plans to rebrand training agency Fas have been described as an attempt to conceal state criminality.

Tanaiste and Education Minister Mary Coughlan said there would be a reformed body in place in the new year that would assume the work of the scandal-hit employment agency.

Fas funds were used as a slush fund by senior public servants and Fianna Fail government ministers to fund an extravagent jet-set lifestyle disguised as study trips and junkets.

Even at a time of record low employment, the training agency had a budget of a billion Euros a year. Millions of euro of state funds were spent on non-existent or pointless advertising campaigns and other questionable contracted services.

Fine Gael said the move could only be regarded as a rebranding exercise as no concrete reform proposals have been outlined.

* Fianna Fail children’s Minister Barry Andrews has apologised to the six children in the Roscommon child-care case who were neglected by the State and allowed to suffer unrepeatable abuses at the hands of their parents.

On Wednesday, the 26-County health services executive issued an “unequivocal and unreserved” apology for their failure to keep the children free of harm, despite repeated warnings about their welfare.

A report released yesterday found that the six were abused by their parents, and neglected by the health service and the authorities in a case frequently referred to as the ‘House of Horrors’.

Social workers first became aware of the family as far back as 1989.

© 2010 Irish Republican News