MCELVANEY “NOT EXONERATED” BY CO COUNCIL INTERNAL REPORT, COLR MCKENNA INSISTS

8 July 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

PETER HUGHES

The simmering controversy over the “RTÉ Investigates” programme on which Monaghan Co Council member Hugh McElvaney was featured last December came briefly to the boil again at the conclusion of Monday’s meeting of the local authority in Castleblayney.

Having asked for and received a statement from Chief Executive Eamonn O’Sullivan on comments made by Colr McElvaney at the recent Co Council Annual Meeting, Sinn Féin’s Brian McKenna insisted that, contrary to the tenor of Colr McElvaney’s remarks, an internal Co Council report into allegations arising from the RTE programme had not exonerated him from wrongdoing.

The Chief Executive said on Monday that he “couldn’t understand” how Colr McElvaney could have made the comments he made at the Annual Meeting as the matter in question was still under investigation by the Standards in Public Office Commission.

Colr McElvaney was in attendance for the earlier part of Monday’s meeting, but had left before Colr McKenna raised the issue when matters arising from the minutes of the Annual Meeting were being discussed.

At that meeting, on Monday, June 20, Colr McElvaney said that the Co Council’s internal investigation initiated following the broadcast had found no evidence of wrongdoing against him under a series of headings, including malpractice, breach of planning rules, corruption and bribery. He was also critical of the attitude displayed to him by some members of the Council at a special meeting convened following the programme, at which a motion was passed calling on him to resign from the local authority. The Independent councillor described this meeting as a “kangaroo court”.

(The “RTÉ Investigates” programme screened secretly filmed footage of Colr McElvaney in discussions with an undercover reporter purporting to represent a wind farm company seeking assistance with planning matters. On the footage Colr McElvaney was shown requesting financial payment for his assistance – he has consistently maintained that he was aware of the contrived nature of this encounter but played along with it to expose “the dirty tricks of RTÉ”.)

When the minutes of the Annual Meeting came before the Council at the conclusion of their meeting on Monday for consideration, Colr McKenna referred back to Colr McElvaney’s comments at this meeting and the references he had made to “kangaroo courts” and to gallows.

“Personally I would prefer the guillotine,” the SF representative stated, “but in any event he [Colr McElvaney] went on to state that as far as he was concerned he had received clarification from this Council of being exonerated of having done anything improper or irregular and that this was in a letter from the Chief Executive countersigned by the then Cathaoirleach, Colr Noel Keelan.”

Colr McKenna said he had not seen this …
brian mckenna

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