Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh has called for clarity as to when the Department of Housing were made aware of allegations that protection money was being paid by Dublin City Council

The High Court heard earlier this week that Dublin City Council officials were aware and recommended protection money be paid to two criminals so that social housing could be built in west Dublin in 2016 and 2017.

Senator Ardagh said: “The Department of Housing need to set the record straight as to when exactly the Housing Minister was informed of the reported allegations.

It is now being claimed that an email was sent to the then Housing Minister in 2017 informing him of the alleged protection money.

“Serious questions now need to be answered by Dublin City Council relating to these allegations. What is needed now is an independent investigation to find out exactly how the money was paid, and to see exactly what the Council knew.

Senator Ardagh said that Junior Minister for Drugs Catherine Byrne needed to clarify her position as to why she failed to inform the Housing Minister once she became aware of what was going on.

“It has emerged that Junior Minister Byrne was informed that Dublin City Council officials were paying “protection money” to criminals three years ago but failed to tell anyone. Minister Byrne needs to come out and set the record straight as to why she failed to inform the Minister for Housing,

“Minister Murphy also needs to investigate as to when an email was first sent to his Department detailing information about this scandalous behaviour,” concluded Senator Ardagh.