An inquiry into the sale of 145 acres of State land near Blessington, Co Wicklow, began at the tribunal yesterday. The Glen Ding woodland, containing sand and gravel deposits, was sold to Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) in 1991 for £1.25 million without going to public tender.
In his opening statement, counsel for the tribunal Jerry Healy SC said they would investigate the sale of the land and any role played in it by former chairman of CRH Des Traynor, and any links with former taoiseach Charles Haughey and the conduct of his affairs.
He said they would also look at the conduct of the disposal and the connection, if any, with the Ansbacher accounts.
The sale of Glen Ding attracted criticism when it became known that no party other than Roadstone had been invited to bid for the land. This was even though a number of other bodies had expressed interest.
At the time the State was selling off about 30 forests but Glen Ding was the only forest not to involve a public-tender process.