'We don't have time for sailing,' war of words continues with no Council meeting in May

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Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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Carlow County Council offices on the Athy Road

A war of words is continuing in Carlow between People Before Profit's Cllr Adrienne Wallace and Cllr John McDonald of Fianna Fáil over the lack of local authority meetings during the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that there will be no Council meeting in May "for the protection of staff, councillors, and reporters". 

Cllr Wallace recently criticised Fianna Fáil's attempt to "stifle opposition voices" and hit back at "petty slurs in the middle of a pandemic".

She said: "When I called for an April Council meeting, I was shocked to see Cllr John McDonald tell the media I was just 'looking for attention'.

"But these comments are so much more than an attempt to belittle legitimate demands."

Cllr Wallace added Fianna Fáil are trying to put themselves "outside accountability".

She said: "We are possibly entering into a recession; we cannot allow Fianna Fáil sail us down the river as they did in the past.

"They are trying to undermine opposition voices with petty slurs, which is so much worse considering we are in a period of crisis."

However, Cllr McDonald has not hit back at the comment and said: "There have been calls for a Council meeting to discuss Covid-19 restrictions.

"The Corporate Policy Group (CPG) which consists of the chief executive of Carlow County Council, Chairman of Carlow County Council and Directors of Services have decided in line with the Government restrictions regarding social distancing and for the protection of staff, councillors, and reporters that no May council meeting is needed.

"However, there will be a meeting of the CPG at the end of May to consider arrangements for holding an A.G.M in June. Each Director of Service will hold briefings via teleconference with each MD. 

"This was decided on Monday, April 27 at a meeting of CPG. The directors and staff of Carlow County Council remain available to answer questions directed to them.

"Cllr Wallace was demanding a meeting so that questions regarding PPE and nursing homes be discussed. These questions should be directed to Department of Health or the IEHG of which St Luke’s Kilkenny is a member, who are the appropriate bodies to answer these questions. 

"In relation to accusations by Cllr Wallace that Fianna Fáil is sailing away down a river. I want to emphasise that we in Fianna Fáil are following Government guidelines unlike Cllr Wallace looking for cheap publicity.

"Fianna Fáil is and has been responsibly adhering to the Government guidelines and all directives issued by the HSE.

"We are not doing a solo run looking for attention. We don't have time for sailing!"