Sligo County Council not commenting on Queenan SIPO report

Sligo County Council says it will not be immediately issuing a statement about one of its councillors having been found in breach of ethics guidelines.

It’s after the Standards in Public Office Commission yesterday issued a report in which it found against Cllr Joe Queenan on three of the four allegations against him.

Sligo Councillor Joe Queenan, Donegal Councillor John O Donnell and Monaghan Councillor Hugh McElvaney were the subject of separate ethics investigations by the Standards in Public Office following their appearance on an RTE investigative programme in December 2015.

In the RTE programme, a woman carried out separate, secretly-recorded interviews with all three councillors.

The interviews concerned a supposed wind farm, allegedly being developed by a foreign investment company, and represented by the woman who was, in fact, an undercover researcher.

Afterwards, Cllr McElvaney began judicial review proceedings in the High Court aimed at having the SIPO inquiry halted.

Yesterday, SIPO issued reports in relation to its investigation of two of the councillors, Cllr Queenan and Cllr O Donnell, in which it found each of them breached ethics rules.

However, it said it was NOT satisfied that Cllr Queenan had looked for money to do his job as a councillor.

The commission says it has given copies of its reports to both councillors involved as well as the Cathaoirleach and Chief Executive of each county council and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

In a statement this morning, Sligo County Council said it will not be issuing a statement in the shot-term while it considers the report issued by SIPO.

Meanwhile, a Donegal Sinn Fein councillor is calling on Cllr O Donnell to resign from Donegal County Council.

Councillor Marie Therese Gallagher says her party has always adopted the same position in relation to councillors on her county council.

Meanwhile, in Sligo, it’s unclear what action, if any, elected councillors or the council executive, will be taking.