29 May 2022

'Cheap publicity,' war of words in Carlow over lack of Council meetings due to Covid-19 crisis

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Carlow County Council offices on the Athy Road

A war of words has erupted as Cllr John McDonald hit back at comments made by Cllr Adrienne Wallace over the lack of Carlow County Council meetings due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Cllr Wallace has slammed the local authority's decision to halt all Council meetings and not move them online.

She said: "If Council workers are going in to do their jobs so should councillors. Other Councils have organised briefings or held meetings with social distancing in place.

"I am calling on Carlow County Council to do the same to allow elected reps to do their job and fight for their communities."

However, Cllr McDonald has hit back at her remarks and said that local representatives are working hard for their communities behind the scenes. 

"I don't agree with what she's saying at all. We're following the guidelines of the executive and the HSE. The Council are working 24/7 and worked all the Bank Holiday weekend," he said. 

He added that the meetings in the Council offices are not being held so as "not to be putting people's lives in danger" but that all members and the Council are contactable if needed. 

Cllr McDonald said Cllr Wallace's comments were nothing but a "cheap publicity stunt, looking for attention". 

"Councillors are available and are working for their communities as required," he added. 

Cllr Will Paton has said that as long as there is no statutory business to be conducted cancelled meetings "is the correct approach". 

He added: "However, I would like to have a meeting in MAY as I want the opportunity to ask questions about the delay in COVID-19 testing and the disclosure of test results.

"One of my family circle members has had to wait 15 days to get test results.

"We could easily social distance in a different meeting venue such as the large lecture hall in IT Carlow."

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