A Fine Gael Councillor in Co Galway is suing RTÉ alleging it sought to entrap him by having an undercover reporter allegedly meet and secretly record him while she posed as an agent for wind energy investors.

Tom McHugh claims RTÉ sought to procure his corruption as a public representative and sought to interfere with the discharge of his responsibilities as a public representative.

He alleges RTÉ caused him, as an elected public representative, to expend time and effort in what he believed to be a public interest in vain.

Mr McHugh claims a woman calling herself "Nina Carlsson" purporting to be from Iceland was in fact employed by RTÉ or was a servant or agent of the broadcaster when she arranged to meet him on 2 November 2015 at the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway.

He claims she falsely represented she was acting for a company seeking to invest in wind energy in east Galway, abused his good faith and readiness to assist and covertly recorded her interview with him so RTÉ could use it as it saw fit.

He explained the planning process to her and gave her information required for an application for a wind farm, he claims.

He was induced to give her the benefit of his knowledge and experience in good faith and "at all material times acted lawfully, ethically and appropriately".

He claims he asked her what limit of investment she was talking about and she told him she had access to an endless supply of money.

He said he advised her she would need to employ consultants who would engage with the planning process and he could identify such a person to her.

He claims he discussed the matter with a consultant that evening and later left a message for her in relation to the information he obtained, suggesting she get back to him but she did not.

He has brought proceedings seeking damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages, against RTÉ.

A hotelier, shopkeeper and builder, of Kilcolgans, Tuam, Co Galway, he claims RTÉ has certain duties under the Broadcasting Acts and is also obliged not to infringe his right to privacy.

He said RTÉ made a programme entitled: "RTÉ Investigates: Standard in Public Office".

When broadcast on 7 December, it did not refer to his meeting with "Nina Carlsson".

His solicitors had written to RTÉ on several occasions since seeking a copy of the recording of his meeting but RTÉ had not delivered access to that

Mr McHugh alleges RTÉ has uttered or published or caused to be procured to be uttered, or published lies and/or falsities, including he was lured to a meeting by false pretences, that RTÉ attempted to induce him into saying or doing something at the meeting so as to damage him and secretly recorded him.

He also claims RTÉ had in a letter of 11 January 2016 sought to justify its actions and also acknowledged the basis of the November 2015 meeting was entirely fictitious

RTÉ has yet to file a defence but in correspondence denied any attempt to entrap Mr McHugh.

It says he was among a number of councillors approached by an undercover reporter arising from a programme concerning statements/declarations of interest filed by public representatives.

Among various claims, Mr McHugh alleges breach of statutory duty by RTÉ and breach of his privacy rights. He also claims it acted without lawful justification or warrant.

The matter was before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan today via an application by RTÉ, represented by Ray Ryan BL, for further details of the claims. 

The judge ordered further details be provided of some aspects but rejected arguments details of certain other aspects were necessary before RTÉ could file its defence.