Dublin City Coucil offices on Wood Quay, Dublin 8; Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy 

Paul Reynolds, of RTÉ, reports:

Officials from Dublin City Council were aware and recommended that protection money be paid to two violent criminals so that council houses could be built in west Dublin in 2016 and 2017, the High Court has been told.

The court heard that three building firms working for the city council paid between €1,200 and €1,500 a week to Derek ‘Dee Dee’ O’Driscoll from Croftwood Grove and “his enforcer” David Reilly from nearby Croftwood Park to prevent the sites and construction staff from being attacked.

Over €250,000 in the men’s bank accounts has been declared the proceeds of crime and confiscated by the Criminal Assets Bureau, along with a mobile home and a horsebox.

Meanwhile…

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy was asked about the matter by Claire Byrne on RTÉ’s News At One

He said the first he became aware of the matter was this morning. He also said his department are trying to get the bottom of it “as quickly as possible”.

Meanwhile…

Eamon Melia tweetz:

Junior minister Catherine Byrne was told about criminals been paid protection money by DCC but didn’t tell her boss Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Says Eoghan Murphy, watch this space.

Council officials recommended building firms use services of violent criminals for protection (RTÉ)

UPDATE:

This afternoon.

Junior health minister Catherine Byrne was asked about the matter by Irish Examiner journalist Daniel McConnell at a Department of Health press conference concerning Budget 2020 (above).

Mr O’Connell put it to Ms Byrne that Sinn Féin TD Aengus O’Snodaigh has claimed he told Ms Byrne and the Government about the matter more than two years ago.

She said:

“I did know about the incident. It was highlighted in a newspaper around on the 19th or the 18th of December. I received an email into my office Christmas Eve, I didn’t see the email until the 29th.

“…I had rung the [Dublin] city council after I saw the incident happened and I was talking to officials and the local area officer told me that there had been an incident where there was intimidation and a JCB was burned out and the man who was driving had been injured.

“But he assured me that everything was fine and that the council were dealing with it and the guards were involved.

“After that, on the 29th, when I did receive, I looked at the letter, I read it. I was very concerned with what was in it. But I also noted in the letter that it also been brought to the guards’ attention at Clondalkin and other senior officials.

“And really, my job, at that stage, was finished because this was an investigation by An Garda Síochána.

“I suppose one of the things, I just want to make very clear, I totally condemn intimidation or extortion at any level, particularly in communities and particularly in vulnerable communities.

“Down through the years, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard has had problems, not only significant problems around drug issues but around criminal activity aswell.

“But I totally, totally condemn them. And I want to make that very clear.”

Watch back in full here

Rollingnews

14 thoughts on “I Know Nothing

  1. eoin

    “The men’s accounts showed various lodgements from the building companies, including sums of over €35,000, €39,000 and €85,000.” reports RTE

    That’s €159,000 alone.

    We’re only talking about 20 or so houses, aren’t we? So, for “affordable housing” that was costing €200,000, or so, would it be fair to say that €10,000 was for protection paid to drug dealing gangsters?

    Reply
    1. eoin

      Also, was this the first time that contractors working for Dublin city council have paid protection money which is then re-charged to Dublin city [and to all of us].

      And what about the pure private sector? There’s been developments of student accommodation around the Hutch neighborhood and hotels in the Kinahan neighborhood which probably extends as far as the St James’s Hospital site. How much money is being paid for “security” at these developments?

      Do we have laws in Ireland which make it illegal to pay protection money without reporting intimidation to the Gardai? I’d imagine it’s squeaky bottom time for certain directors of some construction firms.

      Reply
      1. A Person

        How naive. This crap happens on building sites across the country and has done so for decades. Pay protection to the local gangster or else your machinery gets burnt out, or your workers get followed home, bullets in the post etc. Its easier to pay the scumbags. But hey, let’s blame hapless politicians, or directors of construction firms, who are at least trying to deliver housing….

        Reply
  2. GiggidyGoo

    Interesting alright. So which of Byrne or Murphy will walk the plank? And probably more to the point, was Owen Keegan aware, and did he sign off, so to say, on it?

    Reply
  3. Slightly Bemused

    Fun fact: shortly after it’s construction, the front of the new Council office building was used in a brief scene towards the end of the wonderfully bad sci-fi film Space Truckers.

    Square pigs for a square world!

    Reply
    1. scottser

      have you ever been down to the conference space in the basement? it’s retained the original city wall at that level – pretty cool.

      Reply
  4. shayna

    It’s pretty common-place for protection money to be paid in the North by Catholic building contractors working in Protestant areas to Loyalist paramilitary types. My neighbour, Big Ciáran was atop a roof in North Belfast re-pointing a chimney stack – he was shot in the head – the bullet went through his cheek, he survived – the payment was late that week.

    Reply
  5. kellyma

    Well in a round about way it probably wasnt a bad idea (if not ethically questionable). If they had used garda resources to protect the staff that would have cost the state some amount of money. At least this way they can recover it by seizing their assets.

    Reply

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