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29 Jun 2022

Frank McBrearty considering legal options following High Court order 

 

Councillor says he did not get ‘a fair hearing’ in High Court

Cllr Frank McBrearty

Cllr McBrearty told the court on Thursday that he would attend the upcoming council meeting on Monday

Cllr Frank McBreaty has said he is considering his legal options after Donegal County Council secured a High Court injunction restraining him from attending any of its meetings until the end of the month. 

The council had sought various orders to enforce the suspension of the independent councillor, which was voted on last month by elected members. It arose out of the allegedly disorderly way Cllr McBrearty had conducted himself at the council’s meetings. 

Cllr McBrearty told the court on Thursday that he would attend the upcoming council meeting on Monday as a “democratically elected councillor” and will “take the consequences”.

The councillor claimed in court he was restricted in making points of order at council meetings and had at various points been muted during online meetings. He said he has been raising issues of public importance and exposing alleged “systemic corruption” within the county council. 

Mr Justice Senan Allen said he was satisfied to grant the orders sought, including one preventing Cllr McBrearty from attending, speaking or taking part at any meetings, or committee meetings of the council until midnight on Sunday, February 27.

The judge said it was Cllr McBrearty’s “right and his duty” to represent his constituents, but in doing so he also had a duty to abide by the requirements of law and any lawful rulings of the council.

In a statement issued on Friday, Cllr McBrearty said he did not get “a fair hearing” and that he would be challenging the decision to award costs to the council.

“At yesterday's hearing, DCC had full costs awarded against me, which I will be appealing to the supreme court on points of law and fair procedures, that I am entitled to as an Irish citizen under article 40 of the Irish constitution, that were not taken into consideration by the court,” he said.

The councillor said he had tried his best “in the short time given to me to put together my legal team and defence affidavit at such short notice and I explained this to the judge on Thursday”.

“Now that I am back home, we will regroup and see what the legal options that are open to us going forward,” he said.

 

 

 

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