Donie Daly to resign town council seat – Tommy O’Connell set to be co-opted
Youghal Town Councillor Donie Daly is set to resign his seat in the coming days. Report: Christy Parker | Photo: Michael Hussey www.youghalonline.com | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources close to the Youghal Labour party say the councillor’s seat will be co-opted to veteran Labour member and former councillor Tommy O’Connell, pending ratification at a meeting of the local branch next Saturday (August 14th).
Party sources say Cllr Daly has decided there is no point trying to meet his mandate following the decision by the town council to retain Tuesday mornings as its monthly meeting time. The council switched from Monday nights last April following a work to rule policy adopted by the council executive over pay and conditions. This meant the town clerk and other clerical staff would not attend night time meetings.
When that issue was eventually resolved, voting amongst Cllr Daly’s eight council colleagues were split 4-4 on whether to return to Monday nights, before the Mayor’s second (casting) vote decided in favour of Tuesday mornings.
Cllr Daly, who polled 308 first preferences in his first council election in 2009, says he cannot attend daytime meetings due to out-of-town work commitments.
The financial consultant, having missed the past four consecutive meetings, would be obliged under the Local Government Act to vacate his seat automatically should he miss six meetings in a year. “He doesn’t feel he can serve the people who elected him in circumstances whereby he is effectively prevented from attending meetings,” says a party colleague.
Tommy O’Connell, who managed Cllr Daly’s election campaign now finds himself about to be propelled into his charge’s seat. Mr. O’Connell 64, previously served as a Youghal councillor in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. He was elected for Sinn Fein in 1974, before resigning, disillusioned, from the party four years later.
He topped the poll as an Independent in 1979, joined Labour in 1981and was re-elected under that party‘s banner in 1985. However he resigned from local politics a year later when he and his family decided to emigrate to London for some years. Mr. O’Connell has declined to comment on his likely return to the Youghal chamber prior to next Saturday’s meeting.