Monaghan councillor Hughie McElvaney is one of the politicians that features in tonight's RTÉ programme on standards in public office, in which he is secretly videoed asking for £10,000 in exchange for helping a fictitious company seek planning permission and set up a wind farm in Co Monaghan.
On the face of it McElvaney would seem to be caught red-handed but incredibly, the councillor went on Shannonside Northern Sound's Joe Finnegan Show this morning to claim that he knew he was being filmed the whole time but decided to play along with it.
Hughie greets Joe Finnegan in tremendous form, joking about whether the interview is being recorded and if it really is Finnegan.
Listen back to the interview with Cllr. Hugh Hugh McElvaney here https://t.co/qwK5RE3ZQo
— Joe Finnegan Show (@JoeFinneganShow) December 7, 2015
The greatest comedian in Farney country since Ardal O'Hanlon came to prominence in Fr Ted, McElvaney claimed that he was in on the RTÉ investigation the whole time and played along to show RTÉ up for being underhanded. Or something like that.
'So they came with this sting. But I was cuter than them. I lured them into my trap,' says Hughie. What a true statesman.
McElvaney continues to joke with Joe throughout the interview and seems delighted that he went the whole way with the undercover 'Nina.' When asked why did he ask for £10,000, he said 'I had to make it juicy and sexy.'
So Mr Elvaney set out to catch these people in their sting by completely playing along with it, to the point where he asked them to bring the money along, meeting up with Nina and describing in great detail how they would go about planning and carrying out the construction of this 'wind farm' but at no point stopped to keep some sort of record that would inform someone that he was in on the thing the whole time.
I mean, Jesus, Hughie, did you not at least mention it in a diary entry or something?
That's the way to lure them in you see Joe. I wanted to see who they were and I caught them out.
Anyhow he says that if he had to think to do something like that at the time then he would have but alas he's in a bit of a hole now. Or is he? In McElvaney's view 'it was a piss pull; taking the piss out of RTÉ and I proved it.'
How did you prove it, exactly? I'm seriously lost. I don't understand.
McElvaney left Fine Gael a few weeks ago, unrelated to this latest drama, but thinks now that this may all have been a ploy to get rid of him from the party anyhow. He tells Finnegan:
Somebody somewhere thought it was time to get McElvaney off the pitch and RTÉ was set up to set me up.
You really need to give it a listen to fully appreciate the Father Tedness of the whole thing.