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Cork Independent


Sinn Féin to seek legal advice

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 5:09pm

Sinn Féin is to seek legal advice on the way a vote was held in Monday’s Cork City Council meeting with claims one councillor was ‘shafted’ from various committees.

It was the first meeting since this year's elections and at times became tense among the various political parties particularly between Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party.

Sinn Féin councillors branded an allegiance between some of the councillors as ‘the pact is back’, referring to a deal Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have done with three out of the four Green Party councillors – Dan Boyle, Oliver Moran and Colette Finn.

The fourth, Cllr Lorna Bogue appears to have broken from the deal.

At Monday’s meeting, councillors needed to decide who would sit on various committees with the said ‘pact’ seeing Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael taking the majority of the pie home and the Greens taking a small slice of the action.

It led to a war of words at various points throughout the three and half hour decision-making process, especially during the vote for two seats on the Southern Regional Assembly.

Fianna Fáil put forward Cllr Terry Shannon, Fine Gael nominated Cllr Shane O’Callaghan and Sinn Féin wanted Cllr Henry Cremin on it.

There was then a shouting match as to what way the vote should be carried out with officials indicating that it was up to the chair (Lord Mayor Cllr John Sheehan) to decide.

He chose a for or against system with councillors Shannon and O’Callaghan getting 20 votes each in favour.

Cllr Cremin branded it as “gerrymandering” and declared that he would be seeking legal advice on how the vote was taken.

Cllr Cremin’s party mate Cllr Thomas Gould said that the ‘pact’ had “shafted” Cllr Cremin from taking a seat on the Assembly.

Private meetings?

Also at the meeting, Cllr Moran brought the topic of transparency up for discussion after reports that some council meetings would now be held in private away from the public and media.

It comes after the schedule was rearranged in a way that one full council meeting would be held each month instead of two and under the new Cork city structure, Local Electoral Area meetings would be held in private.

However, councillors like Shannon and Cahill were keen to advise that they would only be private for the next few weeks and would be open to public and media after a short bedding in period.

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