A Killarney councillor says he refused point blank when he was approached by the Prime Time Investigates journalist purporting to be representing a fictitious windfarm company looking for help to secure planning permission.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Niall Kelleher says he was appalled and shocked by last night’s Prime Time programme which showed a number of councillors willing to take bribes in exchange for securing planning permission for wind farms.
Cllr Kelleher says there are 1100 elected representatives in the country and 3 people left the body politic down in a massive way.
Niall Kelleher was among three Kerry councillors who have accepted there were omissions in their statutory ethics declarations after an investigation revealed properties or commercial interests which had not been declared. The research also revealed that in excess of 40% of the country’s 949 councillors declared no property interests whatsoever despite a legal obligation to list all interests in land – including their family home. In response to not registering being the director of a company called Dosco Ireland Limited. Niall Kelleher said he had been appointed as a director of Dosco Ireland but was not aware the appointment had been made at the time of the declaration in February 2015. He said he had amended the record to reflect the up to date position.
Fine Gael Cllr Jim Finucane did not register his directorship of Pier Village Management Company Limited. In response he apologised for his failure to include the company in his declaration. He explained that the company’s function was to maintain and upkeep 36 apartments at Pier Village in Tralee and was not for profit and there was no “beneficial or pecuniary interest” arising from the directorship in his role as a councillor.
Independent Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae did not register his directorship of a building company called Sunville Construction Limited.
He said he accepted that he had not declared the firm but that it had not begun trading until early in 2015.
Cllr Healy-Rae said when he realised his mistake he rectified it immediately.