Updated: Mary Coughlan made planning inquiries for party donar’s projects

Ex-Tanaiste and former Donegal Deputy Mary Coughlan asked planning authorities about the progress of building projects submitted by major party donors

According to the Irish Independent this is the first time details of such inquiries by a senior political figure have emerged. It comes following a probe of hundreds of planning files and records of political donations.

As well as former Taoseach Bertie Ahern, Ms Coughlan sought details from councils and the planning appeals board on projects funded by party donors.

These including Ballymore Estates, owned by Sean Mulryan who is now one of the biggest developers in NAMA.

Meanwhile the Sunday Times reported that in 1999 former Donegal North East Deputy James McDaid lobbied the then minister for Justice to have party colleague and solicitor Sean McBride made a district court judge.

He was appointed to the bench 8 months later.

In 2001, former Minister Mary Coughlan wrote a letter on behalf of the late Miriam Reynolds who was appointed a circuit judge afterwards.

The information emerged after the Sunday Times battled for 15 months to reveal the names of six lawyers who were appointed judges after politicians lobbied on their behalf.