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Smiddy comments on Sinn Féin are "cheeky' - Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

25 September, 2015 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Sinn Féin’s Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has responded to comments by the Chair of the Local Government Review Committee, Alf Smiddy, by characterising them as “ very cheeky” and “plainly false.”

Cllr Ó Laoghaire said;

"I read with interest, and indeed some amusement, Mr Smiddy's comments regarding the Sinn Féin submission to the committee. Mr Smiddy clearly does not lack chutzpah. Of course even a cursory reading of the submission clearly illustrates that Sinn Féin is crystal clear in advocating two separate local authorities.

"On the very first page it clearly says that Sinn Féin is advocating 'Two separate, and economically viable Local Authorities, with two separate elected bodies, and two separate executives, an expanded Metropolitan Cork focused on the development of a modern vibrant modern city region’. It also calls for a separate and strong County Council to focus on the needs of the County areas.

"The strongest theme in the submission is clearly the opposition to a merger, and maintaining two Local Authorities. We advocated an approach which would involve a regional authority for Cork, to minimise duplication, and to allow for strategic planning, but that the primary and major units of Local Government would be two separate Local Councils, independent and with their own budgets. Saying that a regional body and a local authority are comparable is plainly absurd, however, this appears to be the conclusion Mr Smiddy has drawn.

“However, more seriously, the question should be asked whether Mr Smiddy is overstepping his remit. He was tasked with delivering a report, has now delivered it, and yet continues to participate in the public debate. I believe it is positive that the public debate is happening and the public is dealing with it, but I am not sure if there is any need for the members of this committee to participate in a political commentary, as appears to be taking place."

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