The Labour party councillor instead donated €500 to the campaign group which is hoping to win a reprieve after being recommended for a downgrade.
And he invited councillors and family and friends to the Salad Bowl cafe in Lifford, opposite the council chamber.
Staff there laid on a spread of sandwiches and snacks as Mayor McBrearty celebrated getting the council’s top job….with a cup of tea.
He was joined by his father Frank McBrearty Snr as well as Senator Jimmy Harte and members of all the political parties.
“The last thing I wanted to do was go out and have a big dinner when people are struggling,” said Mayor McBrearty.
“So I made a donation to the Save Lifford Hospital campaign and provided a few sandwiches and tea instead.
“The Salad Bowl did a great job.”
The new Mayor said he was looking forward to serving all the people of Co Donegal in the year ahead.
“I now leave my political allegiances at the door and will work in a neutral environment for everyone in the county, regardless of who they are or where they are,” he said.
The colourful politician has been known for his outspoken views in the past.
And he’s never been afraid to speak his mind.
But he admitted that when it came to his acceptance speech: “I was quite nervous. And that’s because it was a huge honour for me and for my family and for my party. I take my new responsibilities very seriously indeed.”
He plans to use his year in office to promote sport as a way of helping to beat or ease mental health issues.
“As someone who has suffered from depression myself I know what it is like to take it on and then recover,” he added.