The protest group, including Cllrs John McGinley, Brendan Young, Mark Wall, Joanne Pender, Aoife Breslin and Reada Cronin, pictured outside Aras Chill Dara yesterday. Picture: Tony Keane
Several local councillors and Repeal the Eighth campaigners held a protest outside council head-quarters in Naas yesterday after they accused Fine Gael and Fianna Fail councillors of silencing them on the issue.
Independent councillors Joanne Pender and Brendan Young say the parties prevented them from tabling a motion before yesterday’s Kildare County Council meeting.
Their motion called on the 40 Kildare councillors to support a Yes vote in forthcoming poll to repeal the Eighth amendment to the Constitution. “We are outraged that a motion we submitted to KCC this month was refused entry on to the agenda,” said Cllr Pender.
She claimed that Mayor Martin Miley (FF), Cllr Darren Scully (FG, chairman of the protocol committee) and KCC’s chief executive Peter Carey felt the motion was potentially controversial and wouldn’t “allow it go before the full council”.
Mayor Miley said the referendum was not a “black and white issue.” He stressed the council had to stay neutral and could not take sides. He told the Leader the referendum is a vote of conscience and the decision not to allow the motion to be tabled was not made only by the three aforementioned people. He said three meetings were held to see if it could be put on the agenda.
Councillors voted 24 to 12 at the meeting against suspending standing orders to discuss the decision not to allow debate on Eighth.