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Primetime probe turns up real life Killinaskully

By Evan Short

A Fianna Fáil councilor has resigned from the party after an RTE investigation was broadcast on Monday night.

During the RTE Investigations Unit report, Cllr. Joe Queenan offered to act as an intermediary for a fictitious wind farm company in return for an investment in a business he was planning.

Following the Primetime program, a spokesperson for Fianna Fáil said the party has accepted the resignation of the County Sligo councilor.

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“Some of the behavior displayed in tonight’s program was shocking and completely unacceptable,” the spokesperson said.

“The instances where there appear to be clear breaches of the law need to be fully investigated by the Gardaí and prosecutions brought where appropriate.

“Separately, in respect of any allegations that were made against current members of Fianna Fáil, the party will immediately commence an internal inquiry under the auspices of the Ard Chomhairle to establish the full facts in each instance and will take action as appropriate.

“Fianna Fáil expects the highest standards from its public representatives. There is absolutely no tolerance within the party for any breaches of such standards.”

Mr. Queenan was one of three politicians who agreed to work secretly on behalf of the fictitious company which was set-up by RTE as part of an investigation into conflicts of interest in Irish political life.

Former four-time Monaghan Mayor, Hugh McElvaney, was also featured in the program. The then Fine Gael councillor has since resigned from the party.

When the undercover reporter from the bogus company said he would soon be visiting Ireland, the councilor said: “And you will have plenty of sterling with you.”

Independent County Donegal councilor, John O’Donnell, agreed to work for the fictitious wind farm company and asked that all money be paid through a third party.

The program also investigated politicians who had failed to declare interests or directorships.

Minister for Defense, Fine Gael’s Simon Coveney, described the program as “the type of thing you’d see in a program like Killinaskully,” a reference to a popular RTE comedy series written by and starring comedian Pat Shortt.