Tag Archives: SIPO

This afternoon.

Four years after an investigation into county council graft…

That’ll learn him.

Fun fact: Cllr McElvaney topped the poll following his Prime Time exposé.

Previously: *Popcorn*

Monaghan County Councillor Hugh McElvaney speaking to an undercover reporter on an RTÉ Investigates programme in 2015

In 2015, an undercover reporter for RTÉ Investigates presented themselves to former Fine Gael Monaghan County Councillor Hugh McElvaney as a representative of a fictitious firm called Vinst Opportunities which, Mr McElvaney was told, wanted to set up wind farms in Ireland.

During their meeting, Mr McElvaney told the RTÉ reporter that he would help the company get planning permission.

Asked how much he was looking for, he told the reporter:

“Ten grand would be a start.”

Further to this…

The Standards In Public Office Commission writes:

“The investigation hearing into the alleged contraventions of the Ethical Framework for Local Government Service by Councillor Hugh McElvaney of Monaghan County Council will commence at 9.30am on Monday, 17 September 2018, at the offices of the Standards in Public Office Commission at 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

“There will be a limited number of space available for the public who may wish to attend.”

Mr McElvaney is still a Monghan County Councillor but he is no longer with Fine Gael.

Update – Investigation Hearing 17 September 2018 (SIPO)

Previously: “What’s In It For Me?”

Decent Irish Graft


Senator Dr James Reilly

This morning.

The Standards in Public Office Commission published its report on the election expenses made by candidates and parties between February 3, 2016 and February 26, 2016.

It reported:

Election expenses of €8.39 million were disclosed by candidates and political parties at the 2016 general election, a decrease of almost 10% on the €11.08 million figure reported for the 2011 election.

…Donations with a total value of €112,320.38 were disclosed by 102 unsuccessful candidates (equivalent figure in 2011 was €285,618).

The Standards Commission has referred 66 files to the Gardaí in relation to possible contraventions of the Act at the Dáil election, including failures to return donation statements, certificates of monetary donations, statutory declarations, statements from a financial institution, or election expenses statements.

One of the 66 files concerned former Health Minister, Senator and deputy leader of Fine Gael Dr James Reilly – in relation to a €1,000 cash donation.

The donation Dr Reilly received was €800 over the cash limit, of €200, and SIPO found Dr Reilly failed to provide proof that he returned the €800 to the donor.

Further to this…

Dr Reilly told the Today with Sean O’Rourke show:

“Just for starters, I only found out about this about 20 minutes ago. Look, in fairness to SIPO, they have a job to do. They wrote to me. I declared everything honestly. I declared a €1,000 of a cash donation. When I realised that that was actually excess of what one is allowed, in terms of cash, without declaring the identity of the individual who, given to me, whose a personal friend of mine for many years and whose a neighbour and a farmer. I handed the money back to him.

“They subsequently wrote to me and asked me to give them a receipt for that and I fully intended to give it to them but, with everything else that was going on, in my own personal life in terms of, you know, and we moved out of our house in Moneygall, closed the sale on the Friday before Christmas, so there was a ferocious amount of activity.

“I’ve been back in my practice trying to reorganise that as well, I had a change of staff and somebody recently only joined so that person can’t possibly be held responsible for an oversight that happened in an interregnum while somebody else who was there had left and I was trying to fill space. So basically, I put my hand up, I forgot to give them a receipt. I can have that receipt to them, I certainly could have the receipt in my hand by lunchtime.

“I declared the €1,000. I did not try, at any point in time, to do anything dishonest. I declared the €1,000, realised the error and then, when it was pointed out to me, handed the money (€800) back to the gentleman concerned and I’m sure, I’m sorry for him that he would be brought into any public controversy over this. So, that’s the long and the short of it…”

Listen back to Dr Reilly’s interview in full here


Frank Cushnahan1.jpgScreen Shot 2016-07-12 at 13.07.07

A letter sent from the Standards in Public Office Commission to Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace last Thursday.

It details how, on March 2, Nama chairman Frank Daly made a complaint to SIPO about Frank Cushnahan, a former member of Nama’s Northern Ireland Advisory Committee.

It also states that SIPO will contact Mr Wallace soon to meet with the TD and possibly obtain a statement from him. SIPO also requests that Mr Wallace furnish SIPO with any documents that may help SIPO’s inquiry into the complaint against Mr Cushnahan.

Three Four months.

Good times

Related: Nama chair lodges complaint against Frank Cushnahan (Irish Times)

Frank Cushnahan broke law, Nama complaint in Republic alleges (March 3, Belfast Telegraph)

Previously: Screech

‘The Figleaf Has Been Blown Out Of The Water’

Spotlight Falls On Noonan


Political parties received €12.9 million in state funding for 2013, according to figures released today by the Standards Commission. The attached table shows the amounts received by qualified political parties for 2013 under the Party Leaders Allowance and the Electoral Acts legislation.

The amount payable to each such non-party member of Dáil Éireann during 2013 was €41,152 and the amount payable to each non-party member of Seanad Éireann during the same period was €23,383. The total paid to non-party members was €878,389 (of which funding amounting to a total of €617,279 was available to non-party members of the Dáil during 2013 and funding amounting to a total of €261,110 was available to non-party members of the Seanad during 2013).

Until the 2014 legislation comes into effect, non-party members of Dáil or Seanad Éireann are not required to furnish to the Standards Commission, or to any other authority, a Statement of Expenditure in relation to the allowance.

Exchequer Funding and Party Leaders Allowance received by Qualified Political Parties (SIPO)


Elaine Byrne has some of her own points to raise with the Justice Mininster:

1. The Taoiseach told the IrishTimes that Mr Shatter has his “100 per cent support” for disclosing the information.

2. Enda Kenny had a different view in the Dail on 13 Dec 2005 during the Michael McDowell / Frank Connelly episode.

3.To quote from Enda Kenny’s questioning of the then Taoiseach about leaking of confidental info by then Minister for Justice.

4. “Were the Taoiseach & other members of the Cabinet & Gov made aware that the Minister for Justice intended to leak information deliberately..”

5. It should not be necessary for a Minister, particularly Minister for Justice, to deliberately leak information to a sole journalist…”

6. “Does the Taoiseach agree that… the method chosen by the Minister for Justice, is not in keeping with the integrity of his office?”

7. Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behaviour does not conform.

8. From that same Dail debate in 2005, Labour’s Pat Rabbitte’s contribution is worth repeating. Has the Minister made any comment, yet?

9. Rabbitte: “What I want to know is whether the Taoiseach stands over the untrammelled & unreviewable use of executive power… to leak a document”

More here.

Previously: Shatter Proof


18/05/2013. Garda Memorial Day. Minister for Justi



Will Shatter pay the penalty for hypocrisy? (Harry McGee, Irish Times)

Wallace To Lodge Complaint Over Shatter Remarks (RTE)

Previously: How Do You Know?

Shatter Proof


(Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland)

4/5/2012 Campaigns European Stability Fiscal Treaties 17/7/2012 Courts Service Reports

Following on from last night’s ‘Prime Time’, Mick Wallace released a statement today which included the following:

I confirm that I am in the process of making a complaint on the matter to the Standards in Public Office Commission under Section 4 of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001.

I will also be requesting that the Data Protection Commissioner investigate any possible breach of the Data Protection legislation, the basis for the Minister’s allegation, the circumstances surrounding the seeking and providing of any personal data to the Minister in preparation for the Prime Time debate, and the identity and role of all persons involved.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter subsequently released a statement which did not address Deputy Wallace’s accusation that the Minister’s actions constituted an abuse of power.

From whom did Minister Shatter receive his evidence of Mick Wallace’s alleged penalty points infringement?

Statement from Mick Wallace TD

Statement from Minister for Justice Alan Shatter TD

Earlier: Shatter Proof

Previously: How Did He Know?

(Sam Boal, Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland)

elainePolitical corruption sleuth Elaine Byrne, now based in Australia, has been tweeting about Alan Shatter’s insider knowledge of Mick Wallace’s motoring indiscretions revealed on Prime Time last night.

In summary:

1. The Minister for Justice abused his position of power by disclosing on national TV the details of a Garda discretionary decision

2. That the Minister did so to make a political point because the individual concerned was a politician is quite frankly, disgraceful.

3. Shatter:Deputy Wallace was stopped with a mobile last May and he was advised by the guard who stopped him that…

4. I’m going to explain why Section 4 of the Standards in Public Office Commission Act is relevant for a complaint.

5. Any person can make a complaint to Standards Commission where he considers that an office holder/Minister may have done a “specified act”

6. Section 4(1): Specified act is “the circumstances of which are, such as to be inconsistent with the proper performance by the specified..

7. “..person of the functions of the office or position by reference to which he or she is such a person or with the maintenance of…

8. “…confidence in such performance by the general public, and the matter is one of significant public importance.”

9. More information on complaints to the Standards Commission in this regard can be found here

10. To my mind, the Minister for Justice contravened section 1.5 of the Code of Conduct for Office Holders.

11. Ministers should “act in good faith with impartiality… respect confidences entrusted to them in the course of their official duties.”

12. Apart from concerns under section 4 of the Ethics Act and the Code of Conduct for Office Holders, there are Data Protection concerns.

13. “The Act places serious responsibilities on every employee of An Garda Síochána not to disclose data…”

14. “…in relation to any individual to any other individual who is not entitled by law to receive it.”

15. What confidence can the public have in the justice system if the Minister of Justice decides to disclose information whenever he likes?

16. Section 41 of 2005 Garda Act stipulates the information the Garda Commissioner has a duty to give to the Minister

17. (i) preservation of peace & public order, (ii) protection of life and property, and (iii) the protection of the security of the State;

18. In my humble opinion, an individual on a mobile phone doesn’t come under those categories of a duty to report by the Garda Commissioner.

For more click here.

Previously: How Did He Know?

(Elaine Byrne / Flickr)