Developers gave councillor £9,000

The Irish Times reports from the Mahon Tribunal:

Developers gave a former Democratic Left county councillor £9,000 for charity after South Dublin County Council gave them the go-ahead to build extra houses on rezoned land, the tribunal has heard.

Tallaght councillor Michael Billane voted in February 1996 to increase from 360 to 600 the number of houses Ballycullen Farms could build on their land. The change, a material contravention of the local plan requiring a 75 per cent majority of councillors, added £2.1 million to the value of their south Dublin land.

It continues:

Judge Mary Faherty said Mr Billane had voted against building 360 houses on the land in 1993 and then, more than two years later, he had voted in favour of 600 houses. She asked what had prompted his “quantum leap”.

Mr Billane said the original proposal would see millionaire’s houses built on the land, while the increase in density would provide more affordable housing and more employment for building workers.

A ‘quantum leap’ about sums it up.