Election Battlelines Drawn At Co Council!

11 December 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A Sinn Féin motion condemning the Government’s handling of the economic crisis and the financial rescue package negotiated with the IMF, which sought the suspension of the following day’s Budget and the calling of a General Election, prompted an extraordinary two-hour debate at Monday’s meeting of Monaghan Co Council conducted in part by members hurling invective at each other across the meeting table. Co Mayor Jackie Crowe threatened to adjourn proceedings on several occasions as he attempted to call the members to order.
As a tempest of snow swirled outside the windows of the Iontas Centre in Castleblayney where Monday’s meeting took place, a storm of hotter air raged inside as the main political factions on the Council sought to position themselves most advantageously for the General Election battle looming in the Cavan/Monaghan constituency come the New Year.
The debate ended with a Fine Gael proposal, moved by Owen Bannigan and seconded by David Maxwell, “that this Council has no confidence in the Government and calls on the Government to call an immediate General Election”, being adopted on a show of hands vote, attracting support from the FG, SF and Independent councillors and opposition by those from Fianna Fáil. Colr Bannigan had made his proposal as an amendment to the SF motion, but it was eventually voted upon as a motion in its own right after the Co Mayor ruled that it did not constitute a valid amendment.
The lengthy SF motion, for which Standing Orders were suspended to discuss, called on the Council to reject the banking bail-out package as agreed by the Irish Government, the EU and IMF.
It stated: “We recognise that the Government has no mandate to negotiate this deal.
“This is not a bail-out for the Irish people, it is a bail-out for the banks.
“It is designed to protect international banks and bondholders and to secure the future of the euro no matter what that costs to Ireland.
“The interest rates are unaffordable and will cripple our public finances for years to come.
“Not another cent should go into the Irish banks until their debts are restructured, whether through burning the bondholders or giving them debt for equity swaps.
“This deal has not restored confidence in the international markets.
“This Council calls on any new Government to refuse to honour the terms of any loan agreed, to burn the bondholders of Irish bank debt, to abolish the banking guarantee leaving only deposits guaranteed, and to sue the National Pensions Reserve Fund for economic stimulus and job creation measures.
“We further state that this Council, like the people we represent, has not confidence in this Government. We call on the Government to suspend the Budget and to call an immediate General Election.”
Full story in the Northern Standard

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