Marathon council budget meeting moves into ninth hour

Donegal county councillors are in their ninth hour of deliberations Monday night with still no agreement on the council’s 133.2 million euro draft revenue budget.

Donegal county councillors are in their ninth hour of deliberations Monday night with still no agreement on the council’s 133.2 million euro draft revenue budget.

Carolyn Farrar reports from County House, Lifford

Monday’s lengthy session included 11 adjournments, with councillors spending more time in meetings within and between political groupings than they did in the chamber.

The reconvened budget meeting followed the Dec. 19th budget meeting, which lasted 13 hours and ended without agreement.

The main sticking point in December was the proposal for a 2 euro per week increase in council rents, which councillors from all political groupings opposed. Discussions since then have focused on finding other ways to raise the nearly 300,000 euro that the rent hike would have generated.

On the table Monday night were separate proposals from Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, who were joined by independent Cllr. John Campbell. County Manager Seamus Neely and the council executive had also brought forward amendments to the original draft budget in responses to concerns councillors had raised in a proposal that had the support of Fine Gael, Labour and the remaining independent councillors.

The meeting was set to resume a short time ago, at 9.30pm.