Following a lengthy debate, with plenty of cross table and cross party swipes at policies and abilities, the elected members of Castlebar Town Council voted by eight votes to one to back a motion by Independent Councillor Frank Durcan which said: “The members of Castlebar Town Council call on the Government to indict for the act of treason, the politicians and bankers who were grossly responsible for the undermining of the economy over the past 10 years”.
Cllr Durcan made a broad attack on the current Government and former members of the government for their miss-management of the economy in times of plenty. Cllr Durcan particularly singled out current Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and former Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevey. He also hit out at banks which gave people huge mortgages that they are not able to repay now and said that the current economic situation was leading to a number of people taking their own lives because they can not handle the pressure that is being put on them by banks and lending institutions.
Following Cllr Durcan’s introduction to the motion, Fine Gael Cllr Ger Deere asked could it be amended to include auctioneers also, which roused anger with Cllr Durcan - an auctioneer by trade, who told Cllr Deere if he had anything to say to him about it he could say it in public and he would discuss it any time he wished. Sinn Féin Cllr Thérese Ruane also suggested that the motion be amended to include greedy property developers and speculators.
The meeting saw a number of councillors having their say on the issue. Fine Gael Cllr Brendan Henaghan commented: “The last thing that will happen is that the politicians will point the finger at themselves.” While Cllr Ruane then suggested to amend it again to take out the word treason and change it to call for a full and through investigation, to which Mayor Michael Kilcoyne said: “Sure they had an investigation tribunal before and what came out of them? Nothing.” Labour Cllr Harry Barrett offered Cllr Durcan his full support for the motion. Before the motion was voted on, Cllr Henaghan then suggested that the motion be changed to say “call on the next government to indict”. All eight members who spoke on the issue said that they agreed with the thrust of Cllr Durcan’s reason for bringing the motion.