A Sinn Fein councillor accused members of the voting pact for electing Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Council’s chairperson of engaging in shameful “sleeveen politics” as Mullinahone Cllr Eddie O’Meara was returned unopposed to the office for a second year in a row.
Carrick Cllr David Dunne also labelled the four-member voting pact as “anti-democratic” and claimed the people who voted for him and fellow Carrick Cllr Kieran Bourke in the council elections last year were being treated as second class citizens on the Council because they were excluded from the pact and denied the chance of serving as chairperson.
He rounded on the voting pact comprising Cllr O’Meara (Ind), Cllr John Fahey (FG), Cllr Louise McLoughlin (FG) and Imelda Goldsboro (FF) at the District Council’s agm in Carrick-on-Suir Town Hall last Thursday.
Outgoing Chairman Cllr O’Meara was proposed and seconded to continue as the Council’s chairman for the next year by Fine Gael Cllrs John Fahey and Louise McLoughlin respectively.
Cllr Dunne tabled a counter proposal that under the d’Hondt system supported by his party Cllr Imelda Goldsboro should take over as chair of the Council.
Cllr Goldsboro thanked Cllr Dunne but pointed out the d’Hondt system was not followed on this Council and declared she was supporting Cllr O’Meara.
Cllr Bourke said he accepted the voting pact’s existence because when he was in Fianna Fail he was involved in such pacts. His only problem with this pact deal was that Carrick-on-Suir’s two councillors will never have an opportunity to serve as the Council’s chairperson during the five year term.
“That is life, I am big enough to live with it but I do agree with Cllr Dunne on that issue,” he said.
Cllr Dunne said to exclude two members of the District Council team from the pact was “very strange”. He believed the “fair and honourable way” was to include all six councillors in the voting pact just as the nine members of the former Carrick Town Council had done.
“This sleeveen politics is a shame. I could’t let this go today without saying it. I had to put it on the record. I think there is a better way forward and it should have been done last year.
“Everything should be done in the open but doing these pacts behind closed doors...it’s disrespectful and unfair, and it’s not right and definitely not proper practice.”
Despite being outside the pact, Cllr Bourke was proposed by Cllr Imelda Goldsboro for the position of vice-chairman and seconded by Cllr Dunne. Cllr Bourke, who looked visibly surprised to be nominated, was elected unopposed.