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'I didn't throw water, it just spilled'

COUNCILLORS behaving badly brought a meeting to near chaos amid accusations of water throwing and shouting.

This week's meeting of Wicklow County Council turned to farce when a well-known councillor accused his colleague of flinging water over him.

The Fine Gael chairman of the council was forced to intervene after a blazing row broke out between councillors Nicky Kelly and Tommy Cullen.

Following a heated exchange, Cllr Cullen accused his Labour counterpart of flinging water over him before storming out of the chamber.

One councillor who witnessed the row dubbed the incident "Watergate".

Cllr Kelly rejected the allegation that he threw water, claiming that it spilt accidentally.

But the row between the pair has continued today with Cllr Cullen claiming that he was at risk of being electrocuted.

He told the Herald: "The water went into the electronic system and I could easily have been electrocuted. I was bullied and threatened at that meeting and that's not acceptable. I intend on pursuing this and I am seeking an apology from Cllr Kelly."

The row broke out after Cllr Cullen sought a suspension of standing orders to accommodate a motion which called for a discussion on the amount of funding Sinn Fein receives from the British government.

The council was split on the subsequent vote, which resulted in the motion failing.

The pair, who sit beside each other in the council chamber, became involved in the heated row which eventually culminated in the water being split over Cllr Cullen.

Cllr Kelly today told the Herald that the people of Wicklow have been "let down" by the entire spat.

"I did not bully or intimidate anybody, nor did I throw water. It split over and that was an accident," he said.