Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey has been accused of ignoring city councillors and refusing to “recognise our mandate as elected representatives” by failing to invite them to a major transport meeting and presentation in County Buildings this week.
Labour Cllr Billy Cameron has accused Dep Fahey, the Galway West TD and Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport chairman, of refusing to allow him and other city councillors to attend the meeting, which took place on Tuesday.
The meeting was addressed by John Henry, director of the Dublin Transportation Office and was organised by the Dáil Joint Committee on Transport. Cllr Cameron however was “shocked and amazed” that city and county councillors were not included on the list of guests.
“I was angered that Dep Fahey seemingly does not deem the councillors to be stakeholders and equally fails to recognise our mandate as elected representatives,” he said.
Cllr Cameron raised the issue at Friday’s city council meeting and demanded that councillors be allowed attend. The Joint Transport Office was contacted by City Hall. However only a “small presentation” of councillors were let attend on Tuesday for a question and answer session in the Meyrick Hotel after the main meeting which was also be open to members of the public.
In response Dep Fahey told the Galway Advertiser that the meeting was organised for people who are “stakeholders in transport provision in the city” and that it was not practical to include all the councillors at the meeting.
“If we invited the city councillors we would have had to invite the county councillors and that would have meant 45 extra people at the meeting,” Dep Fahey said. “As it was the Mayor of the city and of the county were there as were the city and county managers so the local authorities were represented.”
Dep Fahey pointed out that it will be “no problem” to get Mr Henry to address the city council on the transport issue. While Cllr Cameron said he will be seeking such an invitation for Mr Henry, he said: “The added expense of bringing the presentation to Galway will unfortunately be borne by the tax payer and could have been avoided with a little forethought by the Deputy.”