Disgraced politician Hugh McElvaney has claimed he will run again for election despite a minister saying he and two others cannot continue in public life.
It has also emerged that the local councillor received over €350,000 in taxpayer-funded wages, allowances and expenses since 2009.
The former Fine Gael county councillor, who boasted that he is worth €10 million, claimed he will run in for election again in Monaghan and will top the poll.
The defiant politician, who was videoed asking an RTE undercover reporter for £10,000 in exchange for securing planning permission for wind farms, also has the backing of his local priest Fr Thomas Coffey who described RTE as a “disgrace”.
The veteran councillor, who was one of three politicians featured in last week’s RTE investigation of non-disclosure of politicians’ interests, is also in the process of selling his stake in the family waste disposal business for €750,000.
When he was asked if he was sorry for appearing to ask for cash for planning favours he again said he did no wrong and that he knew he was being set up.
He said: “Not at all, sure my God, everybody knows I caught them out.”
But the Local Authority Members Association (LAMA), which represents country councillors, were so concerned about his and two other councillor’s actions they held an emergency meeting on Saturday.
Afterwards McElvaney and Cllr Joe Queenan resigned from the body while Cllr John O’Donnell was booted out after he refused to quit.
But Cllr McElvaney still has the backing of his local priest Fr Thomas Coffey, 82, who claims he was framed by RTE.
He told the Sunday World: “If I could put Hughie into heaven for all the good deeds he has done in this community I would.
“He was in the church on Tuesday giving out the Eucharist and there were people hugging them.
“The Hughie on that programme was nothing like the Hughie we know. I would swear to God that Hughie is not that kind and as soon as I saw him acting like that on the television I thought to myself that’s Hughie winding them up.”
But Cllr McElvaney may soon have to explain to gardai why he simply did not cooperate with the undercover reporter working for RTE Investigates as it is understood that the Fraud Squad are now involved.
On the landmark programme Cllr McElvaney is seen telling a woman called “Nina” he would lobby the government on behalf of a fictitious wind farm investors in exchange for “loads of sterling”.
Junior minister Simon Harris said that the local councillors featured on the RTE investigates programme can not continue in public life.
He said: “I think the actions of people on that programme sullied the job of a local representative and is not reflective of the large majority of local representatives doing an exceptional job.
“I understand that the material is being examined by An Garda Siochana and I’m very conscious of that and I’m not prejudicing any action that might be taken but I think all of the councillors involved have very serious issues to reflect on and, one wonders can they continue in public life… I certainly don’t think they can.”
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