Cllr Frank McBrearty: 'I broke no rules'
Independent county councillor Frank McBrearty has said he is taking legal action after he was asked to leave Wednesday’s council meeting following a warning from the council’s cathaoirleach over “disruptive behaviour”.
The meeting was adjourned and reconvened online after Cllr McBrearty refused to leave the meeting in the Aura leisure centre.
At the beginning of the reconvened meeting, which Cllr McBrearty did not attend, cathaoirleach Cllr Jack Murray (Sinn Féin) said he had sought legal advice and was informed that Cllr McBreaty could join the online meeting.
He said the removal of Cllr McBrearty was not what he had wanted but the aim of the council to work together in harmony had been breached.
Cllr McBrearty told Donegal Live that his lawyers are dealing with the issue.
“I broke no rules and lawyers will deal with what Donegal County Council did to me today,” he said.
The events at Wednesday’s council meeting follow a number of heated exchanges at meetings in recent months, frequently during discussions on the mica crisis.
The reconvened meeting heard that there could be implications for the remuneration and expenses of a member who was the cause of a meeting being adjourned. The member could be suspended for a period if there is continued disorderly behaviour, the meeting was told by a council official.
Independent councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig told the reconvened meeting he was very upset at the treatment of Cllr McBrearty. Before he left the meeting “in protest,” he said the voices of the people who had voted for Cllr McBrearty were being silenced.
Several councillors expressed their support for the move by Cllr Murray.
Cllr Gary Doherty (SF) said it was regrettable Cllr Murray had to take the measures he did but he had been left with no other option.
The business of the meeting had to be concluded “for the good of the council and indeed for the people that we represent,” he said.
Cllr Gerry McMongale said all the councillors want the meetings “to go head in a respectful manner” and Cllr Murray was “100% right” in what he did.
“This is not about personalities falling out,” he said.
He said one of the members “took control of the meeting, would not accept the ruling of the chair”.
“We were subjected to a tirade of abuse. That is wrong,” he said.
“We as members need to stand up to this type of behaviour”.
Independent councillor Nicholas Crossan said the meeting "was a sham" and the behaviour that caused the meeting to be adjourned "had to stop".
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