Patrick Butler SC appointed to investigate ‘protection money’ allegations

Eoghan Murphy
Eoghan Murphy

Barrister Patrick Butler SC has been appointed to investigate whether Dublin City Council paid “protection money” to stop anti-social behaviour on social housing construction sites.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy announced today that Mr Butler has been appointed as an authorised person under section 224 of the Local Government Act 2001.

He will carry out a statutory review and prepare a report for the minister to establish the role, if any, of Dublin City Council in the events which culminated in payments by construction companies to stop anti-social behaviour on social housing construction sites.

Mr Murphy made the decision to appoint Mr Butler following a recent High Court case during which evidence was presented by An Garda Siochána of sums of money paid to the two defendants in the case which, in respect of at least two of three social housing construction sites, was so-called “protection money” to stop anti-social behaviour.

In carrying out his independent review, Mr Butler will examine all relevant files and documents held by the Council as well as interview Council officials and other relevant parties who were involved in the construction projects. Mr Butler will report to the minister by 9 December 2019.

Mr Murphy said: “I am confident that Mr Butler has the required expertise to promptly review these matters and establish the truth of what transpired in these particular cases. I look forward to receiving his report.”