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.
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”.
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)
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.
“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