The following appeared in the Irish Examiner yesterday:
"23 February 2008
GardaÃ called in over alleged land deal irregularities
By Sean Oâ€™Riordan
A LOCAL authority is to contact gardaÃ and discipline a member of staff following an internal investigation into alleged irregularities involving land deals.
Cork County Council confirmed yesterday it had completed a 21-month investigation after receiving a number of complaints about a land deal in Charleville.
On foot of these complaints, lodged in May 2006, the council widened its investigation to include â€œa number of other mattersâ€.
The initial inquiry centred on the purchase by the council of a 20-acre site at Rathgoggan North, which cost it â‚¬11.6 million.
Pushkin Developments, which originally owned the land, alleged that two bankers had agreed to purchase the site from it for â‚¬8m.
The company complained that even before it signed the deal, the bankers were in negotiations with the county council to sell the land on for â‚¬11.6m.
The local authority paid a deposit on the site, but refused to pay the balance after receiving Pushkinâ€™s complaint. The two bankers sued the council for specific performance of the contract in the High Court.
A settlement, approved by the court, allowed the council to proceed with the purchase, but for â‚¬9.75m instead of the original price of â‚¬11.6m.
Following an initial examination of the Charleville transaction and other property transactions, which were continuing at the time or recently completed, the county council decided to start a formal internal investigation into the conduct surrounding land deals.
â€œA comprehensive and indepth investigation has now been completed into the various transactions.
â€œA disciplinary process has now commenced into the conduct of an official and a statement is being prepared for An Garda SÃochÃ¡na,â€ said a county council spokesman.
He said he expected the disciplinary process to take about three months to complete.
The council has refused to comment on whether or not the member of staff under investigation has been suspended on full pay."