Questions to the Planning Tribunal on the tapes

Village has submitted the following questions to the Planning Tribunal. At the time of going to print no response was forthcoming. In the event that the tribunal does respond to the questions we will publish the response in full in the next issue of Village.
•  1 How many recordings of private interviews are now available?
•  2 When were these discovered?
•  3 How could lawyers for the tribunal have been unaware that their private interviews with witnesses were recorded?
•  4 When the issue of these audio recordings was first raised in the proceedings taken by Hazel Lawlor, and also enquiries made on behalf of Owen O'Callaghan, did the tribunal make enquiries of stenographers if there were audio recordings of the private interviews?
•  5 If so, what response did the stenographers give to these enquiries?
•  6 If the tribunal did not make such enquiries of the stenographers, why not?
•  7 Who affixed the notations on the cover pages of the private interviews of the persons mentioned “by hand + disquette + audio cassette” (it seems obvious that an official of the tribunal itself affixed this notation)?
•  8 How was this not common knowledge among tribunal personnel that the audio cassettes were being returned and, if it was common knowledge, how was it that the High Court was misled in the case taken by Hazel Lawlor?
•  9 Why would tribunal lawyers have gone “off record” during private interviews?
•  10 Were all private interviews recorded?
•  11 If not, why were some interviews recorded and others not recorded?
•  12 Who decided which interviews were to be recorded?
•  13 Where are the tapes of the recorded interviews?
•  14 If not all the tapes are available, what happened to them?
•  15 Under whose control were these tapes?
•  16 Why were the cover pages of the transcripts of private interviews taken from the copies of those transcripts given to Owen O'Callaghan and the representatives of Liam Lawlor and, perhaps, others?
•  17 Who removed these cover pages and on whose instructions?
•  18 Given the acknowledgement in the Statement of Opposition signed by in the case Owen O'Callaghan and Others v John Alan Mahon and Others (record no 2005/1289\JR) that the tribunal “failed to respect the principles of natural and constitutional justice and fair procedures and was in breach of Article 40.3 of the Constitution”, how can any of the previous findings of the tribunal stand (ie findings since its inception in 1997), given that they were based on a procedure which you acknowledge was an abuse of the rights of witnesses.
•  19 Given the above, how can any of the participants in the tribunal to date (ie since its inception in 1997) be denied their full legal costs?
•  20 Is the tribunal in contempt of a Court order regarding the disclosure of recordings (in July 2004 the High Court made a declaration on the disclosure of document, but in the words of the judge: “the declaration is not to include notes made by counsel solely for their own purposes, but is to include information recorded or transcribed from the notice party by counsel”.)?