Reaction and inaction of Donegal Councillors over appearance of the infamous Cllr John O'Donnell at the council meeting in Lifford, Co Donegal, Monday, January 25thSee Winds of Corruption Hit Donegal
The following is an extract from DonegalDaily, Monday Jan 27, 2016. Click on opposite photograph of Cllr O Donnell taking his seat at council.
UPROAR AT COUNCIL AS McBREARTY LOSES BID TO EXPEL CLLR JOHN O’DONNELL
CLLR Frank McBrearty has lost in his bid to have Cllr John O'Donnell kicked off council committees.
Councillors voted for a counter motion from Cllr Ian McGarvey and seconded by Cllr Nicholas Crossan allowing for 'due process' in the controversy
Councillors voted 20 votes to 12 in favour of moving on from the issue and to allow the current investigation into O'Donnell to continue.
Councillors John Campbell and Michael Mac Giolla Easbuig walked out of the meeting.
The meeting had to be suspended as members of the public walked out and staged a noisy protest just outside the council chamber.
Earlier councillors were told that they cannot expel controversial councillor O'Donnell.
The council had already ruled they cannot remove him as a council.
Cllr O'Donnell arrived at the January monthly meeting in Lifford today before it started.
He took his seat without talking to councillors. He has been at the centre of a media storm since an RTE programme broadcast on December 7 showed him offering favours to an undercover journalist team in return for payment.
Cllr Frank McBrearty told the chamber that he knew that the council could not remove O'Donnell from his seat as a councillor.
However he said the council did have the power to remove the Kilmacrennan man from council committees.
"We need to send a clear signal to this country that we will not tolerate corruption in Ireland and more specifically here in Donegal," said Cllr McBrearty.
The motion was seconded by Cllr John Campbell.
However council director Liam Ward said based on legal advice given to the council, councillors did not have power to expel Cllr O'Donnell from committees.
Today I have been attacked by councillors from Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein for walking out of the council chamber yesterday.
I am very disappointed that only myself and Independent Cllr John Campbell were prepared to walk out on a point of principle.
In December all councillors attended a special meeting and called on O'Donnell to resign but a month later they are not prepared to back that up by voting with their feet.
They had a chance to remove O'Donnell from his committee positions but refused even to do that. The next item on the agenda was the disposal of council assets.
This is precisely the kind of decision which is compromised by the continuing presence of O'Donnell in the chamber and shows why every means to pressurise him should be used to force him to stand down.
But instead of maintaining the pressure on O'Donnell, the political parties have chosen to close ranks and attack me and John Campbell instead. I can only assume our walkout has angered them by exposing their unwillingness to take any action.
The following is an extract from DonegalNow, Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016. Click on opposite photograph to read full article.
MAC GIOLLA EASBUIG ACCUSEd COUNCILLORS OF ATTACKING HIM OVER O'DONNELL WALKOUT
A Donegal councillor has lashed out at councillors he accuses of attacking him for walking out of the Donegal County Council meeting yesterday.
Michéal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig said he has been attacked by councillors from Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin following a walkout staged by himself and John Campbell yesterday in protest at the presence of Councillor John O'Donnell.
"I am very disappointed that only myself and Independent Cllr John Campbell were prepared to walk out on a point of principle," said Mac Giolla Easbuig.
In December, all councillors attended a special meeting in which they called on John O'Donnell to resign, but Mac Giolla Easbuig said he is disappointed they were not willing to vote with their feet yesterday.
"Instead of maintaining the pressure on O'Donnell, the political parties have chosen to close ranks and attack me and John Campbell instead. I can only assume our walkout has angered them by exposing their unwillingness to take any action," he said.
"What goes on in Lifford at meetings every second month only consumes a fraction of my time working as a councillor. The people know how hard I work on their behalf," Mac Giolla Easbuig said.
Councillor Dessie Shiels, from Letterkenny, did not attend the council meeting because he objected to Cllr John O'Donnell's presence.