Tuesday 23 July 2019

Councillor to face internal Fine Gael investigation after criticism from Sipo

Cyril Burke Photo: Mark Condren
Cyril Burke Photo: Mark Condren
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A Fine Gael councillor who had serious findings made against him by the State's ethics watchdog is facing an internal party disciplinary hearing.

Mayo county councillor Cyril Burke was found to have breached Standard in Public Office commission (Sipo) rules arising from his involvement in an alleged plan to secure zoning for land owned by another councillor.

Sipo found Mr Burke acted "recklessly" and in contravention of the code of conduct for politicians in his dealings with Independent councillor Frank Durcan, who also had findings made against him.

Fine Gael's national executive has now decided to refer Mr Burke to the party's disciplinary committee.

Meanwhile, a protest relating to the Sipo findings against the two councillors is due to take place in Castlebar today. People Before Profit's Joe Daly, who organised the demonstration, is calling for Mr Burke and Mr Durcan to resign.

Last week, Fine Gael refused to say if Mr Burke would be put forward as a candidate in the forthcoming local elections.

The Sipo investigation centred on recordings and texts between the two men in which they discussed rezoning land owned by Mr Durcan. In return for the zoned development land, the Independent councillor was asked by Mr Burke to withdraw Freedom of Information requests he submitted seeking information on a council official.

Irish Independent

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