MONAGHAN INDEPENDENT COUNCILLOR REJECTS FINDINGS OF SIPO “WITCH HUNT”

13 January 2022 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Independent member of Monaghan Co Council Seamus Treanor in a statement to the Northern Standard this week rejected findings made against him by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) in relation to complaints made to them regarding election literature Councillor Treanor published in 2019. Last week SIPO announced the outcome of an investigation it conducted into the complaints in November of last year.

It said that it had found Councillor Treanor to be in breach of requirements on public representatives under sections of the Ethics in Public Office and Local Government Acts. Councillor Treanor in his statement this week accused SIPO of conducting “a witch hunt” against him and contended that its findings had been pre-determined and not based on the evidence presented to the investigation hearing.

He said that SIPO had been established to root out corruption in Irish politics, but this was the first time it had been used “to censor political opinion”. The following is the full text of Councillor Treanor’s statement: I am not surprised by the findings of SIPO in response to a complaint by four members of the public who took exception to my canvasing leaflet in the 2019 local elections.

SIPO held an online hearing on foot of these complaints in November 2021 and my legal team, headed by barrister Brian Carroll and solicitor Barry Healy proved beyond doubt that everything in that canvasing leaflet was correct. There were three serious errors in the submission that would have been cause for dismissal and thrown out in any proper court of law. It is my…

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