'We can't shutdown democracy,' says Carlow councillor over lack of Council meetings

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Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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news@carlowlive.ie

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Cllr Adrienne Wallace

Following a recent announcement that Carlow County Council would not meet this month due to the Covid-19 crisis, Cllr Adrienne Wallace has hit out insisting democracy is needed now more than ever.

She has called for technology to be put to use to make sure local representatives can do their jobs.

Cllr Wallace said: "Now is the time we need our democracy more than ever. Now is the time we need to be able to address people’s concerns and queries.

"Locally we have had issues with meeting demand at our Covid-19 test centre. This seems to be a trend nationally as well. Council meetings are a way for councillors to ask questions and get to the bottom of these issues in the public interest.

"People Before Profit are calling for the Government to take the production of testing kits, and other essential equipment, into public control to ensure we can meet demands.

"The market has shown it can’t be relied upon and we have to ensure there is no profiteering. Without local councillors making this call the Government might never change tact and address these issues."

She added: "People are worried, workers are under undue stress and the housing crisis hasn’t gone away, there is more work than ever.

"We must be proactive and innovative in finding ways to hold meetings. The government must immediately move to ensure council meetings can be held online.

"We need accountability and transparency during this crisis. Democracy is a cornerstone of our society and not something we can just pack away. Especially not in the middle of a pandemic."