Fianna Fáil Ballina town councillor Johnny O’Malley rejected claims that he was playing politics this week at a meeting of Ballina Town Council.
The members of the council were paying tribute to their former colleague on the council, Dep Michelle Mulherin, on her election to the Dáil. “I’d like to congratulate Dep Michelle Mulherin and Dep Dara Calleary on their election,” Cllr O’Malley told the meeting. “It’s great to see a politician who started off in this chamber progress and get to the Dáil. I hope she’ll achieve everything that she spoke about doing, such as overturning the An Bord Pleanála ruling on the N26, the re-opening of the Teagasc office, the withdrawal of local authority contributions to water and sewerage projects.”
At this stage Cllr O’Malley was interrupted by Fine Gael councillor Mark Winters. “I think this is just playing politics now,” Cllr Winters said.
“I think these are the issues that she was passionate about in this chamber and other issues like the courthouse in Easkey remaining opening, the payment of Rapid funding to Ballina,” Cllr O’Malley responded.
“That’s great, but you are forgetting about the 14 years that Fianna Fáil were in power that brought those problems,” Cllr Winters retorted.
Later on Cllr O’Malley responded: “I wasn’t in any way being political, there are issues that were very important to her in this chamber.”