FF find against Kilduff, claims Keogh

Kilduff declines to comment

Cllr. John Keogh has claimed that a Fianna Fáil-appointed committee has supported a complaint that he made against the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Paddy Kilduff.

  The party established the three-person group – two barristers and a solicitor – to investigate two complaints made by Cllr. Keogh.

  On Monday, after months of deliberations, the committee met individually with both of the Athlone Municipal District councillors in question at the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, to read them the conclusion of their report on the investigation. 

  Cllr. Keogh has claimed that that they had found in his favour.

  “I am relieved that the complaint against Cllr. Kilduff was upheld,” said the Taughmaconnell man, who has been a councillor since 2009.   

  The matter has been referred to the party’s rules and procedures committee, which will report to the Ard Comhairle with a recommendation on whether sanctions should be imposed.

  An Ard Comhairle meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 10. It is expected that then Fianna Fáil’s adjudication of the dispute would be complete by then.

  Cllr. Keogh said: “It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to make any further comment at this time as the matter has still to be brought before the rules and procedures committee.”

  Cllr. Kilduff declined to comment.

  A Fianna Fáil spokesperson said that the “process is continuing internally” and would not comment further until that process was complete.

  Cllr. Kilduff has been a member of Fianna Fáil for over 40 years, a councillor since 2004 and the Cathaoirleach of the local authority since June. It is not known if an adverse finding in this matter would jeopardise any of those roles.

  The second complaint that Cllr. Keogh made was against Cllr. Ivan Connaughton, another south Roscommon colleague. It is understood that was not upheld by the committee.

  Cllr. Connaughton also met the committee at the Hodson Bay Hotel on Monday, when he was also read out their findings.

  He said: “I believe that the report exonerates me. I don’t know where Cllr. Keogh was coming from.”

  The central issue was the complaint against Cllr. Kilduff, which escalated into mooted legal action on October 7, when Cllr. Keogh issued High Court proceedings against him.

  Internally, the three-person committee had taken their time to reach a decision on the matter. As part of their investigations, they met with Cllrs. Keogh, Kilduff and Connaughton and Alan Kelly, a member of Ógra Fianna Fáil, together in Dublin in October. Sources described that encounter as “heated”.

  Mr Kelly, from Rathbrennan, near Roscommon town, was present to support Cllr. Keogh’s complaints.

            He declined to comment this week.