[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Councillor ‘sought £10,000 to help firm with planning bid’  

Credit:  Shane Phelan and Philip Ryan | Irish Independent | 07/12/2015 | www.independent.ie ~~

A county councillor can be heard on tape seeking a Stg£10,000 payment to assist a company with planning permission for a windfarm.

Cllr Hugh McElvaney sought the cash after being approached by an undercover reporter, posing as a UK businesswoman.

A recording of the Monaghan politician asking for “sterling on the table” is to be aired tonight as part of an ‘RTÉ Investigates’ documentary focusing on the ethical standards of politicians.

He was one of three councillors who agreed to help the undercover reporter with her efforts to secure planning for a fictitious company.

Donegal Independent John O’Donnell was recorded saying he would be paid for this work through another person.

Sligo Fianna Fáil representative Joe Queenan agreed to help, but did not ask for a payment. All three have denied any wrongdoing.

Cllr McElvaney can be heard saying: “You need to sweeten the man up, you know what I mean … You would need to put sterling on the table.”

Asked how much he wanted, he was recorded replying: “Ten grand would be a start.”

He added: “If the money is in the bag, the keener I will be.”

At a subsequent meeting, videotaped using a hidden camera, he said he was “only fooling” about the £10,000, that he didn’t know how much he would want and he would get paid only if the project was a success. “If it is successful for you, I want loads of money,” he said.

Cllr McElvaney last night denied any wrongdoing, claiming he knew it was a “sting” but went along with it, as he wanted to expose what he described as an RTÉ “dirty tricks campaign” against him. “I had to make it as juicy as possible or there would be no show and I had to make it quite sexy so I answered all her questions to make her interested,” he told the Irish Independent.

“It takes nerves of steel to do this. I have certainly incriminated myself but I had to do this to expose RTÉ. That’s the type of man I am. Everyone knows I would never take a bribe.”

Mr McElvaney said he initially went along with it, as he wanted to gather information for his local anti-pylon organisation. He said since he was contacted by RTÉ about the documentary he alerted his local garda station.

He also claimed he was set up by “dark forces” within politics.

Cllr McElvaney quit Fine Gael last month. However, he claims this was coincidental and that his departure was due to his opposition to pylons.

Meanwhile, Letterkenny-based Cllr John O’Donnell was recorded on video saying he was willing to “work quietly” on behalf of the fictitious company.

When asked if he wanted to be paid, he said he required “nothing to do a small section of work”.

But he said that at a later point the company could sit down with another individual.

“I’ll get paid through him,” he said, adding that the arrangement was for “my protection”.

A statement issued on behalf of Cllr O’Donnell said his reference to a payment was made on the basis that he as a businessman might be participating in any project that materialised from work he would be completing as a businessman.

Any payments for such work would be dealt with by a professional team he was putting together and strictly in accordance with the law and ethics disclosure procedures.

In Sligo, Fianna Fáil councillor Joe Queenan was recorded saying he was willing to act “as a link man or a go-between” for the fictitious company’s architects and the local authority.

Cllr Queenan said he wanted confidentiality and was not looking for a payment.

A statement issued by solicitors acting on behalf of Cllr Queenan said: “Our client was not corrupt and repeatedly said he did not want a fee.”

Source:  Shane Phelan and Philip Ryan | Irish Independent | 07/12/2015 | www.independent.ie

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.