Monday 24 October 2016

Monaghan County Council calls for embattled councillor Hugh McElvaney to resign

Published 16/12/2015 | 19:54

Hugh McElvanney
Hugh McElvanney

Monaghan County Council has called for the resignation of veteran councillor Hugh McElvaney, who was caught on film asking for a £10,000 payment in exchange for helping to secure planning permission for wind farms.

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The former Fine Gael county councillor (66) was one of three politicians featured in a RTÉ corruption sting last week, which investigated the non-disclosure of politicians’ interests.

Following the release of a video where Mr McElvaney says “What's in it for me?” before demanding that an undercover RTÉ reporter give him £10,000 in return for his assistance, the veteran councillor claimed he knew he was being setup.

Read More: Councillors seek full RTÉ footage

Adamant that he did nothing wrong, the 66-year-old has said he is the victim of a "dirty tricks campaign" and that he played along with the string because he wanted "the opportunity of showing RTÉ up, our State broadcaster, for what they are".

In return for the sterling, Mr McElvaney told the undercover reporter “Nina” that he would lobby the government on behalf of fictitious wind farm investors.

Northern Sound FM are reporting that the motion proposed by Sinn Féin cllr Pat Treanor this evening passed with 13 councillors voting in favour, with 3 absenting.

A mainstay of Fine Gael's operation in Monaghan for four decades, Mr McElvaney was first elected to the county council in 1974.

Read More: McElvaney quit FG after four decades

Hugh McElvaney as he featured in RTÉ's 'Investigates' series Credit: RTÉ
Hugh McElvaney as he featured in RTÉ's 'Investigates' series Credit: RTÉ

The Stranooden-based councillor has a number of business interests outside politics and claims to be worth over €10 million.

His ethics register filing from last February omitted to mention a pub that he owns and a plot of agricultural land.

However, he did record his directorship of Exomex Ltd, the company that owns McElvaney's Waste and Recycling.

Mr McElvaney has a half share in the firm, which provides household waste disposal services.

Read More: Donegal County Council passes motion calling for Cllr John O'Donnell to resign his seat

The councillor had a previous brush with controversy in 1996 when he apologised over "an incident" on an Aer Lingus flight to Boston.

It was reported at the time that he was abusive to staff and upset passengers after he was refused a drink.

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