How San Diego City Council created a phony “Sister City”
with an Irish development company!


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On April 11, 2005 the San Diego City Council ignored City Policy Statement 000-18 and approved Mayor Murphy's phony sister city with Shannon Development.

  1. Murphy initiated this partnership in 2002. For three years he managed this “sister city” out of the Mayor's Office. The 501C3 corporation even named his office as its official address. It is called the San Diego-Shannon Partnership Inc.
  2. Murphy got David Edick, President of San Diego Sister Cities International, to lobby Sister Cities International (the body responsible to the State Department for oversight of all US sister cities) to create a whole new affiliation program allowing this bizarre "partnering" of an American city with a foreign development agency. It is the first of its kind anywhere.
  3. Murphy recommended that the City Council follow the "advice" of Mr. Edick, ignoring my concerns and their own Policy Statement 000-18, to approve this sister city "Partnership" without a "jurisdiction" or "civic group" at the other end.

Murphy told Channel 10 that he has never been to Ireland but is very attracted to Shannon Development. Why?

Not one Irish person turned up to support the resolution before the City Council. Normally a sister city is a big occasion for the community involved.

Who did turn up and spoke in favor was David Edick President of SDSCI, with three sister city employees. Edick seemed very anxious to support Mayor Murphy.

The President of the Partnership, Tim Hushen of the SDSU Foundation, one other Director, Hugh Constant of the San Diego World Trade Center (Hugh happens to be an Englishman with no connection to Ireland) and Sean Brew Secretary of the Partnership, a San Diego Attorney and a Murphy supporter, also turned up.

Why is this Partnership so important to the Mayor? Why did he run it out of his own office for three years and work so hard to have it approved?

Here are some known facts about Shannon Development, see if you can figure it out:

  1. The Company is registered in Ireland as a private company, with only one shareholder, the Irish Government.
  2. It is officially called "Shannon Free Airport Development Company Limited", Shannon Development for short.
  3. Despite being owned by the Irish Government it is not required to behave any differently to any other private company, e.g. it does not have to put its contracts out to bid nor to advertise its assets for sale.
  4. It owns land and real property estimated in the billions of dollars.
  5. A July 7, 2004 report by Forfás, the policy advisory board to Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, which has oversight of Shannon Development, recommended it be wound up.
  6. It has always been a controversial organization and long suspected of being a slush fund for Ireland's largest political party, Fianna Fail.
  7. An “insider” transaction involving the sale of 116 acres of very valuable land adjacent to Limerick University (sold to an Irish entity called MMDS Partnership whose principles are untraceable) at a fraction of its real value, has recently been exposed in the Irish media.
  8. Shannon Development's representative in California, Karl Mellon, is a partner in a Las Vegas-based venture capital firm called Redhills Ventures LLC.

Why would an Irish development company be involved in a partnership with the Mayor of San Diego and a venture capital company in Las Vegas Nevada?

What did Murphy promise Mr. Edick, President of San Diego Sister Cities if he slipped this phony sister city passed the City Council? The City Attorney's Office and the various City Council Members' staff took his word that everything was in order. Murphy then buried it as an inconsequential "consent" agenda item. The City Council had no idea what was involved. They were blindsided by Murphy and Edick. Why?

    Shannon Development


San Diego
Sister Cities International

The complete Shannon Partnership