Pat Flanagan: ‘Dublin City Council extortion racket proves Ireland is the most corrupt country in the world’
While the capital might be a long way from New Jersey, this real-life scandal is straight out of The Sopranos
If you’ve ever questioned why the Mafia never set up in Ireland, the answer is on the front page of yesterday’s Irish Mirror.
What would be the point in the Sicilian mob trying to muscle in on the action in West Dublin when the council and two ruthless hoodlums had it all sewn up?
To the best of my knowledge there is not a single case of the Cosa Nostra being involved in a major crime here.
This country is so corrupt, wise guys would probably end up paying protection money themselves.
News that Dublin City Council officials advised its contractors to pay protection money to two notorious gangsters might be a shock to some.
While the capital might be a long way from New Jersey, this real-life scandal is straight out of The Sopranos.
To those who find this alarming, all I can say is where the hell have you been for the last 30 years?
Don’t you know we’re living in the most corrupt country in Europe, if not the world?
Many years ago, the late property developer Tom Gilmartin told the Mahon Tribunal some politicians “make the Mafia look like monks” as he recalled being approached for a €5million bribe in the Dail. That’s how bent this country is.
Still, it has to be said it’s not every day we are handed evidence that the country’s biggest local authority was facilitating extortion.
We can thank the Criminal Assets Bureau for shining a light into the rotten heart of the State.
It is almost beyond belief that Dublin City Council officials were advising contractors constructing houses to hand over cash to criminals Derek “Dee Dee” O’Driscoll and his enforcer David Reilly.
They are no ordinary gangsters, they’re big time and when they were not extorting cash from legitimate businesses, they were flooding Dublin with heroin and cocaine.
But such activities didn’t stop officials recommending them to the hapless builders whose sites were under constant attack.
Now who would you say was organising these attacks?
Yes, you’ve twigged, but it doesn’t appear to have dawned on the dynamic duo from city hall.
Dublin City Council has been playing word games since this broke, issuing a statement that it never paid money for protection. No, but it was disclosed in the High Court the builders were told to charge the protection money as fencing etc and send the bill to the council.
In my mind that’s akin to having two extortion racketeers on the council payroll by proxy.
According to CAB, officials told the builders to pay up with one of them even facilitating a meeting with O’Driscoll.
Another officer even had the hood’s number and gave it to the builder.
How do officials working for the State, who are not involved with law enforcement, happen to have the telephone numbers of two notorious gangsters, especially O’Driscoll who was infamous for his part in the 1999 Ballyfermot Bloodbath?
When it has been proven that protection money was being paid to criminals with the council’s knowledge, are there other similar situations around the city and country?
It is hard to believe this is a one-off but it may help explain why the cost of building a house is astronomical compared to other countries.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said he heard nothing about this until this week even though Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh sent an email to his predecessor (now Tanaiste) Simon Coveney, former Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for State Catherine Byrne.
Mr Murphy vowed he’s going to order an independent inquiry and “further steps will be taken” – shorthand for kick this down the road until it’s eclipsed by the next scandal.
This scandal would have remained hidden had it not been for the CAB, who this week took €250,000 in what was deemed to be the proceeds of crime off O’Driscoll and Reilly.
If every building site in the country were put under similar scrutiny, the public would be shocked to find this is anything but an isolated case.
The ghost of George Redmond still haunts city hall. Ironically, in the 1990s, O’Driscoll was found guilty of bribing a corrupt garda who gave confidential information to the Veronica Guerin murder gang.
What would she say if she were around to see her city council caught up in a scandal involving a man linked to the gang who shot her?
Probably nothing has changed.
Fred: What can I say reading the above? Like Flanagan I have been writing on this also. I knew Tom Kilmartin RIP. He came here and he was shafted, and was told by a FF TD at the time that if he didn’t pay he would find himself face down in the Liffey. Where is that TD today? Nothing has changed. It has actually got far worse. I would like to ask a number of questions today. This question is direct to Eoin Keegan: What Councillors signed off on the cheques? What Councillors who must be named advised the builders and the site managers to pay up? Exactly how many DCC employees knew about the extortion since 2016 and include in this the Minister for State, that Clown, Catherine Byrne who has betrayed the homeless people of Ireland? She certainly has put a Hollywood banger up the arse of Prada Murphy and I find it hard to believe that Charlie Zero Crime Flanagan is bewildered in this latest age-old scandal.
I say to Charlie – you are the Minister for Justice and yet it appears you were caught with your boxers down when the TIDE OF CRIME WENT OUT. These two Thugs got money transfers for years. They presented themselves as legitimate business men and they were introduced to the site developers as Security Experts by members of the Corrupt Co. Council. Let us face facts here the CAB have to expand this enquiry right in through the main door of DCC. I am not saying that all staff are corrupt – not at all. What I am asking is how many knew of this three and half year old sham scam payment to criminals scheme. We all remember the famous bloodbath between two rival gangs a few years ago which involved O’Driscoll and believe me it was a bloodbath. They came with samurai swords, hatchets, meat cleavers, hunting knives and even a chainsaw. This man O’Driscoll was paid by the State to provide his brand of Protection or otherwise houses for the Irish people could not be built.
In the middle of all this we have 30 Gardai in the Munster area now under investigation in relation to penalty points and other matters put under the carpet. When I hear Eoghan Prada Murphy is going to investigate this latest Mother of All Scandals, you would have to laugh and cry because it is like asking Al Capone to investigate the crime levels in Chicago all those years ago. Politicians cannot be trusted to investigate a scandal that affects them. Fact. If you read Gene Kerrigan’s piece in the Indo today it reveals that Ireland is in the top three most corrupt countries on the planet. This Scandal will be dragged out to the point where people will get tired again. That is what the Blue Shirts do, and in this case with the help of FF, who are their coalition partners in the Cosy Deal arrangement. How could a pair of senior Gangland Thugs have the right of passage to get at least a half of million of taxpayers money sanctioned by Government employees. What more can I say? Is corruption now legal in Ireland? I rest my case. It is with the highest of regard for Gene Kerrigan that I can include the link for today’s article which is a synopsis from the 1970’s to present date of the deep mire of corruption that seeps into every crevice within our Republic and has yet to be effectively dealt with https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/gene-kerrigan-wellbred-thieves-they-were-and-liars-too-38588720.html