A county councillor was asked to leave the council’s budget meeting for what were described as “scurrilous” remarks by the county mayor.
In addressing his views on the budget book, Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla (IND) said he felt “completely disabled” in contributing to the preparation of the budget.
“I am confident the budget is prepared according to statutory requirement but it is nonetheless completely lacking in transparency,” he said.
“I believe the leading party groupings have influenced the decision making from behind closed doors and are continually doing so and nothing that deviates too much from what they deem to be acceptable is allowed. That’s an unhealthy collaboration and the budget process should involve both council members and the public in its priorities. It is public money after all,” he added.
Michael Hegarty (FG) took exception to the comments.
“I would respectfully ask that Councillor Ó Cadhla withdraw his comments that he has allegedly made regarding party leaders and party whips. It is an outrageous comment. It is absolutely disgraceful,” he said.
Mr Ó Cadhla responded that he would stand over his remarks.
“I stand over my statement in regard to the manipulation by the political parties of what happens in this Council,” he added.
County Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy described Mr Ó Cadhla’s comments as “scurrilous”.
“You can have your own thoughts but nobody in here agrees with you," he told him.
He then asked Mr Ó Cadhla to withdraw his remarks.
Mr O Cadhla refused and Kevin Murphy (FG) and Seamus McGrath (FF) said the meeting could not continue unless the remarks were withdrawn.
Mayor Murphy told councillors that the standing orders of the Council dictated that the meeting could not continue under “general disorder” and would have to be adjourned unless Mr Ó Cadhla withdrew his comments or left the meeting.
Mr Ó Cadhla refused to withdraw his comments and left despite Sinn Féin asking that he be allowed to stay.