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Councillors in USA trip row

Mayor Frank McBrearty

By Cronan Scanlon

A WAR of words has broken out between the Mayor of Donegal and another County Councillor over the contentious issue of sending a delegation to the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations in America.

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Speaking ahead of today’s Donegal County Council meeting in Lifford, Fianna Fail’s Brendan Byrne said he will be calling for a vote against sending the Mayor, Frank McBrearty, across the Atlantic on March 17.

Due to the downturn in the economy, the council has not sent a delegation on such trips since 2009.

Cllr Byrne pointed out that when he was Mayor in 2010, he paid for his own trip out of his €60,000 Mayor’s salary.

He added that the council paid for Cllr McBrearty to go to the US last November and December and to pay for the Mayor to go there again in March would be “excessive.”

However, in response, Cllr McBrearty said Cllr Byrne had “some neck on him”, saying the South West Donegal representative claimed €5,000 for foreign travel in 2010 and 2011.

Cllr Byrne claimed that the US trip was on the agenda of today’s meeting in order to reverse a decision taken in 2010 not to send a delegation on a St Patrick’s Day trip.

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