Monaghan Councillor yet to respond to request to stand down

Fellow Councillors have said they think Hugh McElvaney should resign, because he has broken the Council's code of conduct, after RTÉ revelations

Monaghan Councillor yet to respond to request to stand down

Monaghan County Council via Google Earth

Councillor Hugh McElvaney has been asked to resign from Monaghan County Council.

Members of the local authority say Mr McElvaney has broken its code of conduct and needs to step down.

He was filmed speaking to an undercover TV reporter asking for £10,000 in return for help with planning permission for a fake wind farm.

Mr McElvaney has since insisted he knew he was speaking to a journalist and went along with it "for the craic".

Councillor Hugh McElvaney was filmed as part of an RTÉ Investigates documentary. Image via RTÉ

Tarred with the same brush

The motion calling for Hugh McElvaney's resignation was proposed by Sinn Féin Councillor Pat Treanor:

"You know we are all painted with the same brush. We were all embarrassed by what happened. We were getting very angry messages from our constituents that something needed to be done, and that is where we were coming from."

Meanwhile Councillors around the country are said to feel let down by the developments.

Noel Bourke a former General Secretary of the Local Authority Members Association worked with Hugh McElvaney when he was chairman of the body.

Cllr Bourke says it has been a difficult time for LAMA:

"It is not good for Councillors because we have 949 Councillors on 31 Councils around the country, county and city councils, and the vast vast majority of those people are hard working people who work very strongly for their communities."

"I can say from my conversations with them they are very annoyed at what has happened. They felt that the three Councillors let them down."

No legal standing

However last night's vote of Monaghan County Council has no standing in law and Cllr Hugh McElvaney cannot be kicked out.

The Department of Environment and Local Government says it is a matter for the local authority.

Dr Jennifer Kavanagh a lecturer of Law in Waterford Institute of Technology explains:

"The vote in itself could be taken in a token aspect, so they have made clear their opinions on the conduct of a Councillor. However, getting rid of a politician from any forum, be it the Dáil or the Council, is actually near to impossible to do."