Wednesday October 21, 2020

Mahon Tribunal: For the love of money

A meeting in a Palmerstown pub in 1988 between Tom Gilmartin and Liam Lawlor sparked off a chain of events that eventually toppled a taoiseach, writes John Burke.

24th March, 2012
Frank Dunlop made corrupt payments to councillors. Photo: Tony O'Shea

Within days of Tom Gilmartin's meeting with Liam Lawlor in a Dublin pub in May 1988 for advice about land ownership issues, the Fianna Fáil TD turned up uninvited at a meeting of Gilmartin's London-based partners, demanding a share of Gilmartin's business.

It was Gilmartin's first experience of political corruption in the Irish planning process. It wouldn't be the last. Within 12 months, cabinet minister Pádraig Flynn would personally ask Gilmartin for money to...

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