The Standards In Public Office Commission has issued a finding against Monaghan County Councillor Seamus Treanor for making remarks about immigrants which it said would "incite fear and resentment".

SIPO today issued a report on a leaflet circulated by Cllr Treanor in 2019 ahead of local elections.

In the document, Mr Treanor made a series of remarks about immigrants which SIPO said amounted to "serious contravention" of statutory provisions.

The report found the comments contained inaccuracies which were "skewed in such a way to denigrate and demonise immigrants".

It found the councillor brought the integrity of Monaghan County Council into disrepute.

It added: "The respect held by the public for the office of county councillor and for the local authority as an organisation is, in the opinion of the Commission, in danger of being seriously diminished and damaged when a sitting councillor issues leaflets such as this."

The body said it was satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, the contravention of the Local Government Act was "committed recklessly".

It added that "on the basis of the evidence, Councillor Treanor must have foreseen the risk that issuing the leaflet, in the manner in which it was worded, would amount to a failure to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern, but proceeded to issue it nonetheless."

In a written submission to SIPO, Mr Treanor claimed that he had expressed political views and opinions.

He argued that the fact he was re-elected showed he had not brought the office of county councillor or local government into disrepute.