it is pleasing to report that a former Kerry councillor and former mayor of Killarney, has just become the first politician to be convicted, in a criminal court, under Ethics in Public Office legislation. Schadenfreude perhaps, but what the hell.

He has been fined €5000 and disqualified from local politics for 5 years, for seeking to influence a Killarney town council re-zoning decision concerning his own land. “Lands in which he had a beneficial interest under the Planning Act 2000“. It was that tiny bit too obvious, even for Ireland. More on how Napoleon was caught with his snout out here!

The land has since been re-re-zoned, in line with the planners’ initial advice. But what if it had been an “associate’s” land, or lands that needed to be developed in the “national interest”? Would one be confident of a similar outcome?

Four legs good, two legs better…