The ‘RTE Investigates’ programme aired last night exposed the greed and rather unbecoming moral stance portrayed by some Irish public servants.
An undercover reporter, posing as a wind farm investor, approached three politicians, Sligo County Councillor Joe Queenan (Fianna Fail), John O’Donnell, an independent member of Donegal County Council, and Fine Gael coucillor Hugh McElvaney of Monaghan County Council, asking for their help in securing planning permission.
The individuals in question agree to help, expecting something in return, of course.
The reporter is heard speaking to the men, and each of them dig their own grave and line it with personal greed.
Mr. McElvaney, for instance, asks early on “What’s in it for me” and “Are you going to pay me by the hour or by the job.’ He then proceeds to ask for an initial payment of 10k.
And then we have Mr. Queenan, who is seen explaining that he is considering setting up an agri-feed business, and may require financial assistance in the future. The figure bandied around is 200k, though at no point does Mr. Queenan ask for any “fee” in exchange of his help.
Finally, councillor O’Donnell fires at his own head by saying that while payment would be due, any monies should be routed via a third party because “there are so many begrudgers out there.’
In the wake of the scandal, Councillor Joe Queenan has resigned, and there are calls for the other two individuals to do the same.
RTE’s effort has uncovered a grim reality in politics, and the public is this morning feeling shocked, ashamed, and let down by the very people who are supposed to represent them.