Leitrim County Council.
The election of the new council cathaoirleach and the distribution of members into posts on various committees and organisations was strongly criticised by one councillor who described the alliance between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail as “an unholy coalition” formed since the election.
Cllr Des Guckian (Independent) said he saw no need for such a coalition and said he is “certain it is undemocratic.”
He said he feels “robbed of his right to fully participate” and said all councillors should have equal access to all paying posts and spoke about “secret meetings behind closed doors.”
He described Leitrim County Council as “nothing better than gangland where the winners take all” and regarded the coalition as “skullduggery.”
“In the land wars such conspirators would be called grabbers. Sean Mac Diarmada would chew these fellows up and spit them out,” he said.
Cllr Guckian went on to say “the lowest standards are being applied at county council level” and said “Haugheyism at its worst has returned.”
Cllr Guckian then took aim at the previous council.
“The coalition of the past five years has failed and I forecast the same outcome for this new coalition.
“Chairpersons of the past five years have rushed through meetings and there was no debate on anything.
“Committees and sub committees were reduced to rubber stamp exercises and that is not at all appropriate,” he said.
Cllr Guckian said councillors all have equal rights and stated: “I despise the organisers of this grossly discriminatory coalition and I say they are nothing better than shysters.”
Cllr Mary Bohan (Fianna Fáil) in response said Cllr Guckian was totally out of order in the allegations he made and all members disassociated themselves from his comments.
“He made allegations about all chairpersons that chaired this council for the last five years which are totally unfounded,” she said.
“He has accused them of rushing through meetings. I sat here at all of those meetings and that did not happen,” she added.
Cllr Bohan said Cllr Guckian talked about participating but said he “didn't fully participate in the estimates, he walked out of some of them, and didn't support any of them.”
She added: “All the members of this council have done their best to work on behalf of the people we represent and I think what Cllr Guckian is doing today is another rant and we're used to these rants.
“We could all come in here and rant and walk out the door then and take no responsibility for anything. And that's exactly what Cllr Guckian is doing.
“You need to take a look at your own house Cllr Guckian before you call us names. The only good thing about it is that the people won't take any notice,” Cllr Bohan said.
Cllr Guckian said he would “not tolerate being accused of walking out of the estimates meetings. I have a right to walk out of a meeting if I think what is being done is totally wrong.”