By Liam Deegan
The majority of the country has seen or at least heard about the now infamous Monaghan County Councillor Hugh McElvaney looking for “loadsamoney” from an RTE undercover reporter in return for guaranteed planning for a wind farm.
Perhaps Revenue might like to ask Councillor McElvaney why he asked for Sterling to be handed over. He wouldn’t happen to have a secret Northern bank account that he could have hidden the stash in, considering he lives so close to the border now would he? No mention of the Criminal Assets Bureau being sent in to investigate though…
Also seen on film prostrating himself for hard cash from the reporter was Donegal Independent Councillor John O’Donnell who is now going to be subjected to an “ordeal” by something as terrifying as an Ethics Registrar in the Council. No mention of the Criminal Assets Bureau being sent in to investigate here either…
You see the problem with all of this shenanigans is that no one has learned any hard lessons from the past tribunals or so called inquiry’s. No one went to jail or was convicted of a criminal offence for corruption. Not one single politician! The people who appear to have benefited the most are still walking the streets looking for your vote and will still be walking your street looking for your vote in 2016.
However the real issue doesn’t lie just at council level with low hanging fruit ripe for picking. The real issues are happening at government level and involved hundreds of millions of Euro. I want you to think about the words sacrificial lambs to the slaughter and distraction, not as two separate words but one where RTE’s timing was not just perfect in putting this programme out but crucial to saving the skins of those skimming the hundreds of millions with government approval.
Corruption is a dirty word that no government wants to have hanging over them or to be accused of particularly with an election looming but this government cannot escape the accusations being levelled at it and the best course of action is distraction and the sacrifice of a few less than honourable individuals who fell for the oldest trick in the book.
In other words Fine Gael and Labour HQ’s had their spin doctors working overtime along with their publicity unit (RTE) in order to create a media distraction and a talking point for the chattering classes, all in the hope that the masses can see that they are “cleaning up the mess”. This government are clearly not intent on bringing in real anti corruption laws and an independent authority that has real bite with an ability to root out corruption at all levels because they are right at the top tier of the pyramid.
I thought that it best to leave the excuse of the year until last when I quote ex-Fianna Fail County councillor, Joe Queenan, who was also caught in the sting operation. Queenan said; “I was doing absolutely nothing wrong. It is being done every day of the week,”.
Well there you have it from the horse’s mouth!