The Final Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments
P a g e | iv PREFACE This is the fourth and final Report of this Tribunal of Inquiry. One Chapter of the Report – relating to one module of its public inquiries – has been withheld for legal reasons and will be published as soon as possible.
The preparation of this Report has proved to be an enormous and complex task because of the necessity to consider tens of thousands of pages of transcripts of evidence and documentation resulting from the sworn evidence of hundreds of witnesses.
The duration of the Inquiry (in excess of 14 years) has been significantly greater than anyone anticipated at the time of its establishment in late 1997. Several factors have contributed to its considerable length (and the consequential substantial cost), including and, in particular, wide ranging Terms of Reference which necessitated extensive and prolonged investigations by the Tribunal. The depth and scope of that investigative work necessarily required the Tribunal to hear evidence from many hundreds of witnesses, with the result that this Tribunal has become the longest Tribunal of Inquiry in the history of this State.
Other factors also contributed to the length and costs of the Tribunal’s work, such as the failure on the part of some parties who were required to give evidence to the Tribunal to give truthful evidence, or indeed in some instances, to give evidence at all. By its very nature, the investigation of corruption will almost always be a slow process because of a dearth of documentation and paper trail evidence. The investigation of corruption in any sphere will always be very forensically orientated, and therefore notoriously time consuming.
The conduct of the Tribunal’s inquiries (both private and public) and the preparation of this Report have been undertaken on the basis that fair procedures were paramount. The Tribunal, at all times, endeavoured to adopt and follow such procedures and to conduct its work and write its Report without fear or favour. In those instances where its procedures were successfully challenged in the Courts, the Tribunal readjusted them accordingly.
This Report was written by the Members of the Tribunal. The Report’s findings were made without direction from members of its legal team, nor was any attempt made by them to influence those findings. We wish to state this categorically because of the fact that, on occasion, the contrary has been suggested in media articles relating to the Tribunal.
This Report is accompanied by Recommendations. These are made in the light of, and with regard to, information and evidence provided to the Tribunal over its lifetime, and with the benefit of exhaustive research conducted by the Tribunal over the past three years. We hope that they will be considered by the Government and the Oireachtas, as well as by interest groups and the public generally. These Recommendations have been REPORT OF THE TRIBUNAL OF INQUIRY INTO CERTAIN PLANNING MATTERS & PAYMENTS PREFACE
Page |v made witth a genuine belieff that their adoption n will con nsiderably y enhance e public se ervice and aid th he battle against a co orruption.
The Tribu unal’s work was only made e possible e with the assistance and dedication of its staff – bo oth legal and a non-legal (and d which att its busie est period numbere ed in exce ess of 50). The nature off that workk frequently require ed membe ers of its staff s to wo ork exces ssively ds. We wish w to ex xpress our deepestt apprecia ation to all who long hourrs, and att weekend worked in n the Tribu unal over the years s. It is no ot practica al, or indee ed necesssary, to id dentify particularr individua als for special men ntion. Ne everthelesss, and so omewhat in conflic ct with this state ement, we e believe it approp priate to express, e in particu ular, our g gratitude to Mr Peter Kavvanagh, the Tribu