Ask a straight question and get a straight answer.
That is a general rule of thumb in life, but it appears there is one question Meath County Council won’t answer.
And it is difficult to understand why as it is a fairly straightforward one, yet when a national publication asked it of them they were not answered, so Meath Live decided to forward it even more directly, and as you will read it still hasn’t been answered.
Earlier this month, Frank Connolly, a journalist for the Village Magazine forwarded a number of questions to Meath County Council.
One of those read, ‘Can you please confirm whether CEO Jackie Maguire has a direct relation working for Glenveagh Homes, or any associate company, and whether this poses a conflict of interest, (or requires a declaration of a possible conflict of interest) on her behalf in relation to the proposals she has made in the Development plan which she has presented to Meath County Council?.’
On June 16th, in what a number of councillors have told Meath Live was an unusual move, all elected members were emailed a copy of the councils reply.
That reply sent by the council’s highly regarded and able press officer, Ailish Shaw, consisted of one line which said, ‘There is no such conflict’/
It did not address whether the CEO has a direct relative working for a developer that owns a large swathe of property in Meath.
So last Friday Meath Live sent the following questions to the council.with probably the most important one being asked first.
1; We are aware of an email sent to all councillors, (see attached pics), in relation to queries forwarded by the Village Magazine over a possible conflict of interest involving the CE.
We note however that the CE has not replied to one of the queries so we will submit it again.
(a), Does a direct relative of Jackie Maguire work for Glenveagh Homes?
A yes or no answer will suffice
If the answer to the above is no then (b), has a direct relative of Jackie Maguires worked for Glenveagh homes in the last five year period
2; We note your response to the second part of the Village question in which you say there is no conflict of interest.
If the answer to question 1 (a) is yes then please explain how the CE’s objection to a motion on de zoning of lands across Meath does not represent a conflict of interest
3; Has the CE ever declared a conflict of interest on any matters concerning Glenveagh Homes
4; Have any lands owned by Glenveagh Homes been de zoned in the last five years
5; Have any lands owned by Glenveagh Homes been zoned residential in the last five years
6; Roughly how many meetings at which matters pertaining to Glenveagh Homes have been discussed has the CEO attended
7; How much land owned by Glenveagh Homes in Meath is currently zoned for building
Today we received a reply which said, ‘“There is no conflict. Further, all recommendations contained within the Chief Executive Report were based on the agreed national and regional planning objectives and in accordance with the Planning and Development Acts.”
So that is now twice the CEO has refused to confirm or deny whether or not she has a direct relative working for Glenveagh Homes.
Why the secrecy?
If she has then say so, but if she hasn’t then say so and that would eliminate any possible conflict of interest.
At face value there appears to be no reason for not answering the question as even if Jackie Maguire does have a close relative working for a developer the simple solution is to excuse herself from any dealings the council has with that company.
There is absolutely no suggestion of wrongdoing on anyone’s part in any way, but we are still left baffled as to why the CEO won’t answer the question.
In case she has forgotten what it was we’ll ask it again.
Does the CEO of Meath County Council have a close relative working for Glenveagh Homes.?