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01/08/2021

Gardaí should call to deal with Facebook abuse - Donaghey

'Accusations being made of negligence without any evidence'

Gardaí should call to deal with Facebook abuse - Donaghey

Cllr Rena Donaghey


Gardaí should be visiting people making serious allegations about the mica crisis on social media, a former cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council has said.

Cllr Rena Donaghey and a number of fellow councillors slammed those who were harassing council staff and others about the controversy.

The matter was raised as over 100 people had been allocated a link to listen into last Friday's special online meeting to discuss the mica crisis.

Cllr Gary Doherty welcomed the fact the meeting was being made public.

"It is vitally important for the general public to see what we the elected members of Donegal County Council are discussing with regards to the mica crisis.

"I think it's regrettable that a perception has arisen where some commentators are making the accusation that the elected members here have not raised mics in the council chamber and elsewhere."

He said mica had been raised at every opportunity since he joined the council in 2013. The Mica Action Group actually made a presentation at the very first meeting he attended, he said.

Cllr Bernard McGuinness appealed to people on social media to refrain from naming people and finding people guilty before a public inquiry had taken place.

"They are doing nothing for their cause, the people who are in most need or the Mica Action Group. Anybody can pick weaknesses in anybody but that's not the way forward."

He also added it was unfair to name council officials on social media too, many of whom had mica in their own homes too.

"This is very, very unfair. They are being accused of negligence without any evidence at all to support that. Remember every man and woman working for Donegal County Council have a family and some have children. Is that the way to treat your neighbour, I don't think it is," he said

Cllr Liam Blaney said it was easy for some people to throw out populist phrased but unfortunately some of it sticks, he said.

"I would ask anyone who has got information to take forward to the proper places, the gardaí or I would be interested to hear it myself.

"If anyone has any proof of the allegations that are being made tell us, unfortunately to my mind there has been no proof yet, a lot of it is hearsay," he said.

Cllr Donal Coyle said there was no point vilifying anyone because that would not make the situation for anyone in a mica house any better.

"There is no point naming people who make innuendos," he said.

Cllr Rena Donaghey said the council staff dealing with mica had seen their workload increase ten fold and it was so much more difficult to administer that was not their own.

She said a number of very serious allegations had been made about a number of people and putting it up on social media was not a responsible way to deal with serious issues.

"If people have legitimate, genuine, serious issues to raise surely the garda station is the place to raise them in and be investigated properly. Maybe the gardaí should be visiting the people making the allegations?"

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