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Sinn Fein prepare to punish council rebel

A Sinn Fein councillor is to be disciplined for defying party bosses by backing Dublin City Council's budget.

Dublin North Central representative Killian Forde will learn his fate this week after the matter was decided by a Sinn Fein disciplinary committee.

However, Cllr Forde remains defiant over his vote in favour of the council's annual estimates, saying it was the "best possible" deal available.

"I was chairing all these meetings (as chairman of the finance committee) to get the budget to be less tough. Given the circumstances, it's not bad," he told the Herald.

Sinn Fein councillors on the city council were under strict orders from the party's hierarchy to oppose the budget.

But Mr Forde, who is based in Donaghmede, ignored the dictat.

He explained it would have been "chancerism" on his part had he voted against the document as he had spent weeks negotiating for the measures.

"We've had so many years of 'chancerism' in Ireland. It would have been total chancerism if I had gone in there and voted against it. It would have been utterly cynical if I had voted against it," he said.

Abolished

One of the party's main reasons for rejecting the budget was that it abolished the waiver system for waste charges.

Those entitled to a waiver are now required to pay some portion of their bin fees.

In the wake of the vote, a statement was issued on the Sinn Fein website stating Mr Forde had "acted in breach of his mandate from the party".

Possible sanctions against Mr Forde include preventing him from running in the next general election or forcing him to step down as chair of the finance committee. Mr Forde said he has already decided not to contest the national poll.

However, he ruled out vacating his finance committee position. "There is no way I'm stepping down," he said.

comurphy@herald.ie


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