[From top: Thomas Gilmartin Jnr and, above, Thomas with host Ryan Tubridy, journalist and author Frank Connolly and singer Christy Moore on the Late Late Show last Friday night].
Tom Gilmartin, who died last November, was a Sligo-born property developer who moved from England to Dublin in the late 1980s, to create retail developments.
However, he was targeted by several high-profile politicians who demanded either money from Mr Gilmartin or a share of any profits he made on certain developments. He was also threatened after he compared the activities of certain Fianna Fáil politicians to that of the mafia, following a demand of £5million in Leinster House.
It was Mr Gilmartin’s testimony in the Mahon Tribunal that led to the resignation of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 2008.
Mr Gilmartin’s son Thomas, on a panel that included journalist Frank Connolly, author of a newly-published biograpahy of Tom Gilmartin told the Late Late Show on Friday how his father went to the gardaí with his complaints in 1990, and how he received a chilling phonecall, supposedly from a garda, after making that official complaint.
Tom Gilmartin Jnr: “[Tom Gilmartin Snr] was told that the boss [Charles Haughey] wanted to meet him and he was brought by Liam Lawlor into the Dáil and they went up to a room on a floor, which is disputed, but, in the room, anyway, he met several Cabinet ministers very briefly, including Bertie Ahern, Albert Reynolds, Brian Lenihan, Ray Burke, Mary O’Rourke and Charles Haughey.”
Ryan Tubridy: “The Taoiseach, yeah?”
Gilmartin: “Then Taoiseach. The conversation was just, it was minor chat, there was nothing major in it and, as he left, Haughey asked my father, ‘I hope…is Liam taking good care of you?’ as in Liam Lawlor. My dad thought it was an odd thing to say. Anyway, outside the room, as he left the meeting, a man approached him and said, ‘hey, you’re going to do very well out of this, you know, and we’ll expect to be paid’. My dad was taken aback, he thought this was some kind of joke or something…”
Tubridy: “And we being…”
Gilmartin: “We don’t know what he meant. It could have a collective of politics or it could have been connected with…”
Tubridy: “But you don’t know…but a man outside the Taoiseach’s office…”
Gilmartin: “Directly outside.”
Gilmartin: “He said we want £5million deposited in an Isle of Man bank account and he gave him a piece of paper with a number on it to my father. And my father said, ‘are you serious?’. And he said, ‘yeah’. And my father said, ‘you people make the f-ing mafia look like monks’. To which the man responded, ‘You can wind up in the Liffey for making a statement like that’. Anyway, my father left. Within hours he had told a number of people including John Fortune of IBI and others about this demand. And, anyway, within a few weeks there was, there were more games being played by George Redmond and Liam Lawlor, stopping investments and screwing up meetings that were supposed to be held with roads engineers and others because they weren’t getting paid. And so my father made a complaint to Seán Haughey, who was an honourable man, even though he was Charles Haughey’s brother.”
Gilmartin: “His brother.”
Tubridy: “His brother, sorry, his brother.”
Frank Connolly: “He was the assistant city manager.”
Tubridy: “The assistant city manager, yes, my apologies.”
Gilmartin: “And he was taken into the guards. And he told the whole story, all the demands for money that had been made and this particular incident.”
Tubridy: “And where did he go from there, after a Garda complaint?”Continue reading →