Sunday 26 September 2010

Ex-councillor and developer face trial

A FORMER Fine Gael councillor and a classic-winning racehorse owner are to face trial in the circuit court on charges relating to alleged corrupt payments of €80,000.

Fred Forsey jnr (41), with an address at Coolagh Road, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, is facing six corruption charges that allege he received one payment of €60,000 and two of €10,000 from developer Michael Ryan (58), of Kilgobnet, Cappa, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, in 2006.

Mr Ryan, with a second address at the Sweepstakes in Dublin, is a well-known racehorse owner and the man behind the Al Eile stud farm outside Dungarvan.

The two made their third appearance in court in Dungarvan yesterday, when it was heard books of evidence had been served on them. The payments are alleged to have been made as an inducement or reward to Mr Forsey to use his then position as a Fine Gael member of Dungarvan Town Council to support a planning application by Mr Ryan’s company, ORS Partners. Mr Ryan faces six charges relating to making the corrupt payments on August 25th, October 10th and December 22nd, 2006.

Jack Murphy, for Mr Forsey, told the court the book of evidence comprised two volumes and would take “some time” to examine.

Insp Paul Heffernan said the Director of Public Prosecutions had consented to a return for trial to the next sittings of Waterford Circuit Court, starting in November.

Mr Murphy said the case would not be ready to proceed by then. He said he would apply for legal aid on Mr Forsey’s behalf at a later date. There was no legal aid application for Mr Ryan.

The accused came before the courts in August, when they were both granted consent to bail on independent sureties of €20,000.

Mr Forsey did not make bail and spent a week in Cork prison.

He retired from politics in 2007 and moved abroad after spending four years on Dungarvan Town Council. He was arrested in August when he returned to Ireland for a wedding.

Irish Times

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