Thursday 22 February 2018

Rebel Donegal council 'to be run from Dublin'

Greg Harkin

A REBEL council will be run from Dublin after Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein councillors in Donegal said today they will refuse to pass a budget tonight.

The county council is into its fourth day of deliberations over a 2014 budget proposal from Fine Gael, Labour and independents.

A loophole in legislation allowed them to return to the council chamber in Lifford today to vote again.

However councillors in Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein told that they remain opposed to setting a budget in protest at government austerity measures and the setting up of Irish Water.

 “I believe the whole country is finally wakening up to what is going on and people are disgusted that €50 million has already been spent on consultants,” said Cllr Ciaran Brogan, the leader of Fianna Fail in Donegal.

However this morning’s debate had to be adjourned in a row over council expenses.

Cllr Brogan accused independent councillor and former Mayor Frank McBrearty of sending a 5am “intimidating” email to Fianna Fail colleague Cllr David Alcorn.

The email was a defence by Cllr McBrearty of his decision as Mayor last year to refer Cllr Alcorn to the Standards In Public Office (SIPO) commission over alleged expenses irregularities.

Cllr Alcorn was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing, but Cllr McBrearty insisted he made the report on legal advice from the council.

The adjourned meeting is due to get underway again later today.

Sinn Fein councillor Jack Murray said: “The budget book is a joke.  Democracy in local government is being slowly eroded and the people are suffering as a result.

“The creation of Irish Water is another step in the wrong direction.”

Online Editors

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