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Gardaí are now examining footage from the RTÉ Investigates sting

The programme featured an undercover investigation.

Councillor Joe Queenan has left Fianna Fáil after being featured in the programme.
Councillor Joe Queenan has left Fianna Fáil after being featured in the programme.
Image: RTÉ

GARDAÍ ARE EXAMINING Monday’s RTÉ Investigates programme for a potential investigation, according to a Junior Minster.

Speaking in the Dáil last night, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes said that the force is “examining the programme to see if any action is required on its part”.

Monday’s programme featured an undercover sting operation in which a journalist posed as a wind farm investor and spoke to three local councillors. It showed the politicians agreeing to help in return for money, or in one case, a possible loan in the future.

Questions have been raised about whether a criminal investigation is needed, with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney telling reporters that he hopes gardaí “take up the case”.

Yesterday evening’s comments from Hayes were the first such indication that gardaí are considering an investigation.

Gardaí would not comment officially on whether an investigation is in the pipeline. Asked whether complaints have been made by members of the public, they said any such complaints would be investigated:

An Garda Síochána encourage all members of the public who believe that a crime or offence is being or has been committed to report such incidents at their local or any Garda Station. All reported crimes or offences are fully investigated by An Garda Síochána.

PastedImage-36758 Tom Hyes speaking during yesterday's debate.

Hayes was speaking yesterday evening as the Social Democrats introduced a private members’ motion which seeks the creation of a new Independent Anti-Corruption Agency.

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Hayes says that what was documented in the programme was “absolutely unacceptable” and “disgusting”.

“Last night’s RTÉ investigates programme highlighted how the greed and self-service of a few in public office continues to persist in our democracy,” he said.

Read: Galway councillor who didn’t declare a house, some land and €150k payment explains why >

Read: “What’s in it for me?” – Explosive RTÉ documentary shows politicians seeking cash >

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Rónán Duffy

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