Councillor again accuses media of sensationalism

A Fine Gael Town Councillor who last month accused the Donegal Democrat and Ocean FM of sensationalism to sell newspapers and increase listeners made new allegations of sensationalism at this weeks’s meeting of the Town Council.

A Fine Gael Town Councillor who last month accused the Donegal Democrat and Ocean FM of sensationalism to sell newspapers and increase listeners made new allegations of sensationalism at this weeks’s meeting of the Town Council.

At the same meeting two party colleagues rejected his claims, pointing out that the Democrat was doing its job, reporting the news.

Cllr. Brendan Travers who criticised this newspaper and Ocean FM for their reportage on anti-social incidents in Ballshannon said on Tuesday night, “I have been criticised in the past for accusing the local media of sensationalism and I am doing it now again.”

Cllr. Travers was referring to the recent meeting of Bundoran Town Council and Ballyshannon Town Council where members met to discuss the various options open to them in the light of the Minister of the Environment, Phil Hogan’s plans for Local Government Reform.

At that meeting in Bundoran various options were discussed which included amalgamation, disbandment, a more central council similar to an Electoral area to name but a few.

At the conclusion of the joint meeting it was agreed to send a joint letter to the Minister outlining the importance of “Local Government” and committing themselves to jointly extend and expand their current remit.

Cllr. Travers said that talk of an “Amalgamation” had originally appeared in the local press as an April Fool’s joke but it now was being discussed as matter of fact.

He said, “I have said it before and I am repeating it - they are just doing this to fill print space.”

The Chairman of Ballyshannon Town Council, Cllr. John Meehan rejected the councillor’s remarks and said, “The meeting between Ballyshannon and Bundoran Town Councils was held to discuss all options.

“There is a very real danger that councils could be disbanded and that reform is necessary - that is the very reason that this joint meeting was called.”

Cllr. Phonsie Travers said that he accepted that the possibility of amalgamation was discussed.

“I am not pointing any fingers this time - the press did not make it up,” he said.