Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Protection Money Payments.

Wednesday, 22 November 1978

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 309 No. 9

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7.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  asked the Minister for Justice if it is a fact that certain business concerns in Dublin are being forced to pay protection money to criminal gangs: and, if so, the action being taken to stamp out such nefarious practice.

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  I am informed by the Garda authorities that they have received one report of an alleged attempt to extort money from the staff of an amusement arcade and that they are carrying out an investigation. I am informed that, apart from that case, on which they have as yet come to no con clusion, they have no evidence that [1551] business people in Dublin or elsewhere in the country are being intimidated or forced to pay protection money.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Would the Minister care to have his Department go round some of the business establishments in the city to get this information?

Mr. Kelly: Information on John M. Kelly  Zoom on John M. Kelly  Bring up the jurors.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Will he be responsible about his business instead of walking Deputy Briscoe into the situation into which he has brought him?

Mr. Keating: Information on Michael Keating  Zoom on Michael Keating  Was the attention of the Minister brought to individual cases where it is alleged that protection money is being paid?

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  I did not get the first part of the supplementary question.

Mr. Keating: Information on Michael Keating  Zoom on Michael Keating  Does the Minister know if any Deputy is willing to forward to him evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, that a protection racket is operating in Dublin, and if so would he be willing to investigate it?

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  As I said, I have been informed by the Garda authorities that they have received only one report of an alleged attempt to extort money and they are investigating that now. If any person has any information that will help the Garda to carry out any investigation in this matter it will be very welcome.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Is the Minister aware that a security firm mentioned in one of the weekend papers that they were paying protection money? Would the Minister care to comment on that?

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  If any Deputy or anybody else has any information that would be of any use to the Garda in investigating such a charge, they would be very welcome to give it to the Garda. If Deputy Harte has information or knows of anything that can help the Garda in any way and would substantiate these [1552] allegations he is making here this afternoon——

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I am not making any allegations.

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  ——the Garda would welcome that.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  In the papers at the weekend there was an article stating that a security firm were paying protection money. Would the Minister answer the question?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  The Deputy has asked the question in a number of ways a number of times.

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  An investigation into allegations in a recent article was carried out by the Central Detective Unit and the allegation was proved to be without foundation.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  The Minister did not give that information at the beginning.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  Question No. 8.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Deputy Briscoe did not ask for a whole lot of information the Minister gave him.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Ben Briscoe  Zoom on Ben Briscoe  He did.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  I have called Question No. 8.


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