Fiery Independent councillor Frank Durcan became involved in a war of words with top council officials, not for the first time, at Monday’s Mayo County Council meeting. The Castlebar auctioneer, in a notice of motion, called for a special meeting to be held to discuss “the inconsistency of planners, architects and director of services in dealing with planning applications.”
In the course of addressing the chamber, Cllr Durcan stated: “We [Mayo County Council] are on record as being corrupt when it comes to planning matters in the Dáil. That was said by a Minister of State in this Government in the Dáil before.”
County manager Peter Hynes cut into the debate rejecting the claims by Cll Durcan of corruption and called for him to take back the claim or to back up his statements. Cllr Durcan refused, saying he would prove his claim in his own time. The county manager then asked for it to be recorded that Cllr Durcan would not take back his claims.
An angry Cllr Durcan hit back at the manager telling him that he was only ‘an employee of this organisation’ [Mayo County Council] and he was there to answer Durkan’s questions as he was an elected representative of the people.
Earlier in the debate Cllr Durcan raised the issue of a planning permission that was granted more than 10 years ago at a landholding outside Castlebar, stating that a similar application in the same location had been turned down in the more recent past. However it was pointed out to Cllr Durcan by director of services Seamus Granahan, that during the time lapse between the two applications, a new county development plan had been introduced with different planning conditions.