Tom Gilmartin, the Sligo born developer who made his fortune in England and returned to Ireland in the 1980s to do something here ran into the wall of corruption and greed and refused to bow to the FF and FG gobeens, died this week and was buried on Tuesday Nov 26th.
Gilmartin ended up being one of the key witness in the planning tribunals which looked into planning corruption in the Dublin councils. They did not look at the corruption in the other councils all around the country and we can be 100% sure, it was just as rampant there as well. He was one of the few people with any sense of integrity from that class and despite being vilified and no doubt many legal threats made, he stood his ground. Without his persistence, it may never have reached the public record the depth of cronyism and corruption that was present throughout the ranks of Fianna Fail -the party that led this country to ruin, and also to a slightly lesser extent the same with FG.
Most the mainstream press today (Weds) gave coverage to his death and funeral and as rightly pointed out there were no comments from within the ranks of the government or the main political parties.
The Irish Times wrote of his time in the tribunals:
Tom Gilmartin spoke out about the corruption he encountered in the system. His evidence to the planning tribunal opened up an ugly seam of patronage and payback involving individuals at the highest levels of public and business life in Ireland. And they didn’t like it.
He spoke from bitter experience in the witness box at Dublin Castle, doggedly sticking to his guns as top politicians, business smooth-talkers and grasping hand-greasers with pristine cuffs tried to take him down.
The indomitable Sligo man stuck to his guns – at huge personal cost – and emerged with his reputation enhanced.
The ordinary people in the public gallery applauded him.
But he got precious little thanks from the State for his trouble. It was a quiet funeral for the man the big boys couldn’t bury.
The property developer said that he gave a cheque for IR£50,000 to Flynn who was then Environment Minister during a period when he was trying to develop a shopping centre in west Dublin – a development which later became Liffey Valley.
Flynn’s denial in his infamous Late Late Show appearance angered Gilmartin to such an extent that he decided to alter his previous stance of non-cooperation with the tribunal and give evidence saying that Flynn had tried to get him to lie and change his version of events which was that the payment was for the Fianna Fáil party.