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Councillor who told undercover reporter he wanted £10,000 for planning permission is re-elected  

Credit:  Claire Simpson | The Irish News | 28 May, 2019 | www.irishnews.com ~~

A councillor who was filmed asking an undercover RTÉ reporter for £10,000 in exchange for securing planning permission for wind farms has been re-elected.

Hugh McElvaney, a former Fine Gael representative, was re-elected to Monaghan County Council as an independent and told RTÉ to “go back in the swamp”.

Speaking after his win, Mr McElvaney hit out at the broadcaster over its 2015 investigations programme.

“A monkey was tied around my back with the visit of RTÉ in 2015,” he said.

He added: “Take your monkey off my back and go back in the swamp where you belong among the reptiles and snakes and don’t be looking where I am and just leave me alone.”

He said it had been a difficult campaign because the number of seats in his district had been reduced from six to five.

“I know who they were targeting but the people of Ballybay and Clones have spoken and put Hughie back where he rightly belongs,” he said.

After the programme was broadcast, Mr McElvaney told a council meeting he knew he was being “set up”.

“The first impression I got was that wind farms and Hughie McElvaney don’t go hand in hand as these are the means of generating electricity for the overhead pylons. So I immediately thought that this was a wind-up or a stitch-up,” he said.

He added: “I decided to have a bit of fun and to find out who these people really were.”

John O’Donnell, who appeared in the same documentary, topped the poll in the Milford area of Donegal as an independent.

Earlier this year, the Standards in Public Office Commission found against O’Donnell in respect of three alleged contraventions.

Sligo’s Joseph Queenan, who resigned from Fianna Fáil in the immediate aftermath of the programme, was also re-elected as an independent.

Source:  Claire Simpson | The Irish News | 28 May, 2019 | www.irishnews.com

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.

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