A BITTER argument between the Mayor of Donegal and the Fianna Fáil Party Whip permeated proceedings at the monthly meeting of Donegal County Council on Monday.
Cllr Frank McBrearty and Cllr Ciaran Brogan became embroiled in heated discussions throughout much of the afternoon session.
The row erupted after the Mayor’s decision to defer the motions of Letterkenny members who had left the chamber to meet with other councillors.
When the meeting resumed after lunch the Inishowen and Letterkenny Electoral Area members were absent from the chamber.
Mayor McBrearty read over Standing Orders which outlined that no other meeting can take place at the same time as the full council meeting, which takes precedence over all others.
He proceeded to defer the motions of Letterkenny members and continued on with the motions of Stranorlar Electoral Area members who were present in the Chamber.
On the conclusion of the final Stranorlar Area motion, the other councillors had returned Councillor Ciaran Brogan asked the Mayor to continue with the motions from Letterkenny members.
Cllr Dessie Larkin also asked the Mayor to revert to the Letterkenny motions, “given the spirit of why we had to leave the room”.
Mayor McBrearty refused to continue with the Letterkenny motions and stated: “It’s not my problem if you decide to have a meeting within a meeting. This meeting takes precedence over all other meetings.”
Cllr Brogan stated: “We didn’t decide to have a meeting, we were asked by the Inishowen members to meet with them.”
However, the Mayor stated: “I have overruled it. I am the Chair. No one had the courtesy to tell me that a meeting had been organised.”
Cllr Brogan maintained the Mayor had been told that some members were meeting outside the chamber.
“On a point of order, I sat in this chair and heard Cllr McBride telling you about the meeting. I am asking you to continue with the Letterkenny motions.”
When the Mayor stated “I’m asking you to shut up,” Cllr Brogan responded: “Cllr McBride told you in my presence about the meeting. You are telling lies and you are telling untruths in the Chair.”