County councillors have deferred nominating a member to the new board of Údarás na Gaeltachta to next month, pending clarification on their options from Dinny McGinley, TD, minister of state for the Gaeltacht.
Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin councillors supported the delay, proposed by Sinn Féin Cllr. Mick Quinn, despite the fact that the council had received an extension of their nominating deadline to Sept. 25th.
Independent Cllr. Pádraig Doherty and Fianna Fáil Cllr. David Alcorn, both current members of the board, were to be considered. However, Sinn Fein councillors wanted to nominate Gráinne Mhic Géideigh, a current Sinn Féin member of the board.
Legal advice obtained by the council stated that councillors could consider non-councillors for nomination if available councillors were not suitable. But Fianna Fáil Cllrs. Seamus Ó Domhnaill and Brendan Byrne said Minister McGinley had not mentioned those limitations on council nominations when he spoke to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Cllr. Ó Domhnaill said Donegal County Council could not be disenfranchised by delaying the process. “The Act states clearly that Donegal County Council is entitled to a member on the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta,” he said, adding that the only way the council could be disenfranchised would be if the government changed the act.
When councillors voted to defer the selection, Donegal Mayor, Labour Cllr. Frank McBrearty Jr., said, “If this council doesn’t have a member on Údarás na Gaeltachta, don’t come crying to me. And I mean it.”
See Thursday’s Donegal Democrat for the story in detail.