Carrick councillors clash over Facebook publicity

A new Carrick Town Council member has been taken to task by a political rival for advertising on Facebook the motions he plans to table at council meetings.

At the Council’s February meeting, Independent Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin declared he was very disappointed to see SF Cllr David Dunne give details of the motions he proposes tabling at council meeting on his Facebook page.

“I think we as the Council’s members should be seeing them first. I don’t think it’s the way it’s done on this Council,” said the councillor, who is contesting the upcoming county council elections.

Cllr Dunne, who is running in the same election, retorted that he didn’t think he had broken any rules and he was very disappointed at Cllr O’Loughlin for making this “cheap jibe” at him.

He described the Council as a “public relations disaster” and complained that a lot of information wasn’t getting out to people. Facebook was a new medium and he found it good when you are struggling to get things into the press.

Another election rival FF Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan jumped to Cllr Dunne’s defence and asked why Cllr O’Loughlin had picked on him. She pointed out that county councillors have publicised their motions in the press in advance of council meetings for years and there was no law to say they couldn’t do this. She had also put up one of her motions on Facebook before meeting.

Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald said he was shocked at Cllr Dunne’s comments about the Council’s public relations. The Council wasn’t a closed shop, he insisted. Members of the public regularly attended council meetings over the years and the minutes of meetings were available at the Council’s reception, he pointed out.

Cllr O’Loughlin rejected the suggestion he was making a cheap jibe at Cllr Dunne.




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