NEWS

Cllr John O'Donnell in line to be mayor in Letterkenny-Milford

Power-sharing agreement expected to give Independent councillor the position

Declan Magee

Reporter:

Declan Magee

Email:

declan.magee@donegaldemocrat.com

Cllr John O'Donnell in line to be mayor in Letterkenny-Milford

Cllr John O'Donnell topped the poll in the Milford electoral area

Independent county councillor John O’Donnell is expected to be elected mayor of the Letterkenny-Milford municipal district on Friday.

The Kilmacrennan councillor is in line for the position as part of a power-sharing agreement between the groupings on Donegal County Council.

He was censured by councillors in April after the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) found he had contravened ethics laws when he was secretly filmed by RTÉ in a meeting with a fictitious wind farm development company.  

Cllr O’Donnell topped the poll in the three-seat Milford local electoral area in last month’s local elections.

Members approved a proposal that he be formally censured at a special meeting of the council in April following the publication of the Sipo findings.

The motion also removed him from some of the committees that he was on but the move only had effect for the remainder of the last council term.

Legal advice provided to councillors at the meeting by the council’s solicitors confirmed that there was no provision for councillors to suspend Cllr O’Donnell.

Cllr O’Donnell was probed by Sipo after he appeared in an RTÉ Investigates programme in November 2015 in which he was secretly filmed having discussions with an undercover reporter purporting to be proposing a wind farm project.

The investigation found against Cllr O’Donnell in respect of all three of the alleged contraventions.

Calls were made for his resignation following the publishing of the report in March.

Cllr O'Donnell was elected with 1,959 first preference votes in the Milford local electoral area. He took one in four of the votes cast.  

The power-sharing agreement negotiated by the groupings on the council last week applies to the chair and vice chair positions of the county council and the five municipal districts.

Independent councillor Kevin Bradley is expected to be deputy mayor on the Letterkenny-Milford municipal district at Friday's AGM.  

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