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Armagh Council ‘shenanigans’ will not silence Sinn Féin

3 June, 2008

Armagh City and District Sinn Féin Councillor Mary Doyle has said that the attempt by the SDLP and Unionists to exclude any councillor from the Councils decision-making process, will fail.

Cllr Doyle, who was subjected to a vitriolic tirade whilst attending a recent meeting of the Councils key decision-making Executive Committee because she "dared raise legitimate questions in relation to a proposal before the Committee", said that the joint SDLP and Unionist proposal was a response to Sinn Féin's efforts to ensure openness and transparency in all Council business.

Cllr Doyle said:

"I asked hard questions about a specific issue at an Executive Committee meeting and as a result was verbally abused. Instead of dealing with these legitimate concerns the SDLP and Unionists have now colluded to devise a new system to exclude Sinn Féin.

"Not only is the level of personal abuse that was directed at myself totally unacceptable but I think that the vast majority of ratepayers will be concerned that I was attacked because I dared pose questions that ruffled the feathers of other Councillors sitting on the Executive Committee.

"In a blatant attempt to silence me and my colleagues the SDLP and Unionists are now attempting to bring forward these proposals to exclude Sinn Féin from this key decision making body, the Executive Committee, within the Council.

"This latest attempt to revert back to the cosy era of the failed 'nod and wink' of the past will be challenged.

"Sinn Féin represents the majority of nationalists in the Armagh City and District area. We will not be excluded from the decision-making process. The voice of these people will be heard. We pledged to people that we would make Armagh City and District Council open, transparent and accountable. The 'cosy old boy cartel' is obviously attempting to resist this, but Sinn Féin are determined to ensure they are not successful." ENDS

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