Several elected councillors agreed to lobby on behalf of a dummy company set up by RTÉ in return for cash or the promise of cash.
In a hard-hitting documentary to be aired tonight, one councillor sought £10,000 in return for lobbying on behalf of the dummy company, which claimed to be seeking help to develop windfarms.
The investigation, which has been 10 months in development, explores the issue of ethics in politics by revealing the failure of politicians at local and national level to properly declare their business and property interests.
Former Irish Examiner correspondent Conor Ryan led the team and is the presenter of the programme.
The councillor was secretly filmed by the documentary team directly asking for “10 grand sterling” in exchange for agreeing to help the dummy company.
“What’s in it for me? What are you putting on the table for me?” he asked the undercover reporter for the RTÉ investigations team.
“Are you paying me by the hour or by the job? You need to sweeten a man up. 10 grand would be a start, sterling. I want loads of money,” he is filmed saying.
Another councillor sought up to €200,000 for a future business from the dummy company set up by RTÉ in return for lobbying on its behalf. “I am not really looking for money, maybe some day down the road your clients may be able to invest,” said the councillor. “I am looking for investors. €200,000 say, down the road.”
A third councillor is filmed as being willing to help the dummy company lobby other councillors to help get land rezoned.
The councillor is filmed as saying he would seek to be paid through a third party.
“Yeah you would be paying him. I don’t want to be seen to be paid, but I will be paid through him.
“Politically, there would be a backlash. So many begrudgers around these days.”
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