Ethics hearings involving Donegal and Sligo councillors set for next week

Ethics hearings involving two councillors from Sligo and Donegal are due to take place in Dublin next week.

The hearings arise from undercover interviews with the councillors that were broadcast on an RTE Prime Time programme in December 2015.

The hearings, by the Standards in Public Office Commission, are part of an investigation into alleged braches of local government ethics rules.

A hearing next Monday, September 10th, concerns Sligo Councillor Joe Queenan.

The next day, the hearing will involve Cllr John O’Donnell, of Donegal.

And on Monday, September 17th, a hearing will examine the actions of Cllr Hugh McElvaney, of Monaghan.

In the RTE programme, all three councillors were secretly filmed during individual meetings with an undercover researcher.

That researcher purported to be working for a company — which was fictitious — on behalf of international windfarm financiers supposedly hoping to set up business in Ireland.

The SIPO investigation is to determine if any of the councillors sought personal or business benefit, or acted improperly, in their roles as councillors.

Limited spaces are available for the public to attend the hearings at SIPO’s offices at Lower Leeson Street in Dublin.