Kildare County Council debates censored motion on abortion referendum

Kildare Mayor said he had received personal legal advice on abortion debate proposal, which was not paid for by taxpayer

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Email:

henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare County Council debates censored motion on abortion referendum

Cllr Reada Cronin

Henry Bauresshenry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Kilare County Council was a hundred per cent right not to offer an opinion on the referendum, Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Martin Miley, told the Council’s monthly meeting on May 28 last. Cllr Miley, who said he obtained personal legal advice on whether to allow a debate on the Referendum at a previous meeting, was responding to a motion from Cllr Reada Cronin.

She had proposed to the Council that a paragraph on the Council’s Standing Order “be deleted due to its arbitrary nature, thereby placing the paragraph at variance with democratically elected representative council”. For her the offence paragraph is: “The Mayor, the Chairman of the Protocol Committee and the Chief Executive may decide on the listing of potentially controversial items on the agenda and the members submitting those items shall receive written notification of the decision.”

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In a reply to the motion, Maura McIvor, Senior Executive Officer, Corporate Services said: “Proposed amendments to Standing Orders should firstly be considered by the Protocol Committee and a report brought back to full Council.”

Cllr Cronin said if there was respect for democracy, that paragraph should not be there.” Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy supported the motion saying that “with the greatest of respect the Chief Executive is not elected”.

Cllr Miley said he obtained legal advice and it was not paid for by taxpayers money.

He said the aim of the move to prevent the debate on the Referendum was to keep the Council legally neutral.

Cllr McLoughlin Healy said it would help if members could see the legal advice received by the Mayor. Cllr Cronin said she would accept the matter going back to the Protocol Committee for futher consideration, but not being able to debate would make them redundant.