ELECTIONS 2019

Former Donegal Cathaoirleach alleges an orchestrated campaign was mounted against him

Ó'Domhnaill to consider political future in the coming weeks

Michelle NicPhaidin

Reporter:

Michelle NicPhaidin

Email:

news@donegaldemocrat.com

Former Donegal Cathaoirleach alleges an orchestrated campaign was mounted against him

The former Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council has alleged that an 'orchestrated campaign' was  mounted against him. 

Speaking at the count-centre for the Glenties LEA, he said: "I respect the decision of the electorate...but there was without a doubt an orchestrated campaign, both political and personal, in the last ten days to two weeks, and the media allowed themselves to be used and exploited."

Ó'Domhnaill topped the poll in 2014. He was first elected to the council in 2009. 

The former Cathaoirleach said that it was a difficult day for all those affiliated with him.  The Gortahork-based representative said that he was involved in politics for a decade and he did everything that he could for those who supported him. 

"I feel I served the electorate as well as I could. I had the great honour of being chairman of the council for the past year and I done that as well as I could," he said. 

He said that during the next ten days to two weeks he would reflect on what has happened and what the future holds.

When asked if he would consider running in the next election, he said that it was too early but would consider it at a future juncture: "It's probably too early to say  - I was a full time councillor and we will see. I suppose it's a time for reflection."

He said that at present he is looking forward to spending time with his wife and two children. 

He said that people were being supportive to him at present: "People are sorry for me on a very personal level. I can't put into words the anguish and hurt that I feel for not me personally because I'll get over it but for supporters of mine and family members of mine."

Ó'Domhnaill arrived at the Highlands Hotel at around 9pm after having being eliminated on the seventh count with 1,222. 

"Not all of the facts of certain stories were always out in the media...it's difficult for me to comprehend the attacks that were made in a personal capacity on me, members of my team, my supporters and particularly my family and if that's what politics is about...I didn't make personal attacks ever in my ten years in politics on any individual."

He said that he didn't believe that this was what politics in Donegal should be about. He also those who were elected the very best of luck. 

"I wish the six councillors who were returned to the Glenties Municipal District the very best," he said. 

He described the alleged campaign against him as being 'pointed'.

"It was a very pointed campaign, I suppose the LIS (Local Improvement Scheme) which has gone on since 2017, some media outlets were happy to run it three and four times..run the same story but always insinuating that I had done a wrongdoing somewhere."

He said that people can make up their own minds as to whether the story was politically motivated. 

He said that he would not cast aspersions upon anyone: "That is not who I am."

He said that if there is an investigation, that he is certain it will show clearly that everything was above board: "And that I had no hand, act or part in it." 

He said that he had wanted an opportunity to represent the people of the Glenties electoral area because he believe it is the best area in the whole world.

"The people have spoken and I accept what they have said and I will take stock of where I will go from now on," he concluded.