Eoghan Dalton Reports
Questions marks have arisen over whether protection rackets are operating around some construction sites in Waterford city. The local authority has said it has not paid any protection money towards criminals and insisted at last week’s Council meeting in City Hall that it has no knowledge of the practice beyond its own affairs.
It comes following a claim in the High Court that €1,500 was being paid per week to criminals in Dublin in return for construction sites to be left alone.Dublin City Council has denied paying protection money and launched an independent investigation into the claim.
There are concerns that in housing developments which are sold to the Council after the private developer has built them, known as “turnkey” housing, public money may be used to cover costs incurred by paying into a protection racket.
Cllr John Cummins (FG) raised the issue at the plenary sitting last Thursday, October 10, and questioned if the Council was aware if “protection money being paid to criminal gangs in relation to protecting housing sites” has ever occurred in Waterford.