Independent Cllr Frank McBrearty Jnr calls on the 29 members of DCC to protect the people of Donegal at local level by passing their annual budget for 2014
By Cllr Frank McBrearty:
I would like to explain to the people who elected me to Donegal County Council of the decision I am making today to support the budget for 2014.
When I was elected I promised to stand up for the people and help them in any way possible in my role as a Cllr. I have never promised anybody that I could get something done for them but what I did say was that I would try my very best.
When the property tax was introduced I was truthful in saying that although I agreed that some sort of household tax should be brought in, I also said that we should get some sort of service for our money and that certain people should be exempt from paying it and that there should have been a system put in place to make it easier for people to pay it at an affordable weekly rate.
The advice I gave to anybody that came to my door about paying it was that they were the ones that should make that decision but that due to the deal that was made when Troika entered Ireland and started making the rules, we would all have to pay and we would be penalized if we didn’t. Certain parties and independents gave the wrong advice to people and have left them now owing more than they did.
As a Cllr we are there to serve the people at local level and make the right decisions and unfortunately sometimes that can be difficult. One of those decisions is to be able to pass a yearly budget with the resources that are given to us.
Every year we have disagreements but we always get there in the end, as it is the right thing to do. A lot of community groups depend on us and for me they will be the biggest losers in all of this. There will be nobody to put the arguments forward if you need help from the council with a whole range of services.
To me, voting against this budget is irresponsible as we are letting somebody from Dublin come down to Donegal and make the decisions for us. It will be just like the night Troika set foot in Dublin and started running Ireland. Do I agree with the deal that has been made by the Government with Irish Water? No I don’t but that deal has been done and yes I agree it was rushed through the Dail but that was nothing to do with me or any of the other Cllr’s on Donegal County Council. We do not have the power to change that and voting against the budget will not achieve anything other than taking the decisions away from us on how to run Donegal.
I am calling for Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and Ind Cllr John Campbell to support the budget today. In June 2009 the people of Donegal gave 29 newly elected members of Donegal County Council a mandate to represent the people of the county at local Level. Donegal was denied its full representation at National level by the previous Government and in 2010 the then, Senator Pearse Doherty took a historic challenge to the High Court to force them to hold the Donegal South west By election and where he went on to win a seat which ensured that the people of Donegal had their right to representation at National level in our National Parliament.
I am somewhat at a loss to the attitude of the parties named above that ran candidates in that By Election that they would prefer that the 29 members of the Council would lose their mandate given to them by the people to representation at local level. The consequences of Donegal County Council not passing their budget today will have serious implications for the people of the county who will no longer have the right to representation at Local level.
Cllr Frank McBrearty