Green Party councillor walks out after describing mayoral trip abroad as ‘paid junket’

A Galway city councillor walked out of this week’s City Council meeting after she took issue with the number of trips abroad in which the Galway city Mayor Mike Cubbard has been involved in recent weeks.

Green Party councillor Martina O’Connor questioned the mayor’s absence from the second half of Monday’s monthly meeting which was rescheduled from the week before because he was in New York.

When Deputy Mayor Donal Lyons told the Galway city central councillor that the mayor “was leaving the country on a mayoral duty” for China, Cllr O’Connor retorted; “It is a paid junket” and informed the council she would be bringing a motion at February’s meeting where each mayoral trip would have to be sanctioned by the members of the chamber.

In response, Cllr Lyons requested Cllr O’Connor to withdraw her comments. She replied; “I will not withdraw the comments. He didn’t inform us [where he was going] so I couldn’t say it directly [to him]” and walked out of the meeting.

Later in the evening Cllr O’Connor posted a message on her Facebook page which read; “I left Galway City Council meeting tonight at 19:10.

“The mayor and the CE (chief executive ) were already absent, the deputy mayor informed us the mayor goes to China tonight, our meeting was rescheduled as the mayor was in New York last week, and the deputy mayor was also abroad. I was heckled by fellow councillors when I stated that trips abroad undertaken by elected mayor/deputy mayor/councillors should come before the group for discussion/approval in light of the climate emergency. I admire and respect Mayor Mike Cubbard but extensive travel abroad does not fit in with my ideas for getting elected.”

 

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