first_imgCaptain Phil: Running Donegal from WednesdayBreaking News: MEET the new man set to be in charge of Donegal County Council and running your county from next week – Environment Minister Phil Hogan.Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail have this morning refused to pass a budget for 2014, protesting at the handover of €350Million worth of council assets to Irish Water.Cllr John Campbell (Independent) also opposed the budget but for different reasons, with the budget proposal defeated by 15 votes to 13. It means the council could be dissolved and an administrator will almost certainly be appointed by Minister Hogan to run council affairs if the council fails to agree on a way forward at another meeting next Monday. All parties except Sinn Fein agreed to return.Fine Gael and Labour and independents P Doherty, F McBrearty and I McGarvey had supported passing the budget for the year, insisting the water issue was a separate one.Fine Gael’s Micky Doherty arrived late in the chamber to vote – but the budget was defeated by the 11 votes of Fianna Fail, three of Sinn Fein and the vote of Cllr Campbell.Under legislation council powers switch to the Department of the Environment from midnight and the council may be dissolved. Councillors lose their positions – and unless Minister Hogan agrees to an extension – there will be no local democratic representation until after the council elections in May. Councillors will also lose all allowances and payments.Mayor Ian McGarvey’s role as first citizen is also now at an end – and Sinn Fein councillor Gary Doherty who joined the council just six weeks ago has set a new record as the shortest ever serving county councillor.Tired: Mayor McGarvey had chaired 3 days of talksThe move will not effect the day to day delivery of council services but how money is spent this year will be decided by Dublin civil servants under the direction of Deputy Hogan.There was heated debate all day – but Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail took a decision they would not support the budget. And they had the majority of votes between them.Cllr Barry O’Neill made a last minute plea for the budget to be passed. But this was rejected. Cllr Ciaran Brogan (FF leader on the council) said: “Politics is about people and we have to follow our instinct.“We have to stand up over the A5, over our health services, over Garda resources and now over water. It was the right decision to take. We have to send a message to Dublin.”Dessie Larkin, (FF) said: “Donegal will be left behind and overlooked in favour of the big urban cities, I’m very concerned about this issue and it’s one of the biggest issues this chamber has ever faced.“From the 1st of October Donegal people will be charged for water and we have no idea what those charges are going to be. “The citizens of Donegal are in the dark on this issue and as a public representative I have a responsibility to express my concerns.“I think it’s a very bad deal and a very rushed deal the privatisation of Irish Water we’ve seen what happened in the North when they privatised the water.”Cllr John Campbell discusses the budget with Cllr Marie Therese GallagherCouncillor Marie Therese Gallagher (SF) said the asset transfer was “like having a hole in your roof, asking a contractor to fix it and then handing over your house.”She said the reservoirs and assets of Donegal belong to the people of Donegal.“It’s daylight robbery and it’s happening right now. People should be angry. We are custodians of this asset and we have never even been considered,” said Cllr Gallagher.Barry O’Neill (FG) responded to Cllr Marie Theres Gallagher’s (SF) objection to the confusion on the impending water charges saying: “You say no to everything, you said no to everything at last year’s budget, it’s no to everything, this meeting is turning into a shambles, I came here to talk about a budget meeting and all we’re talking about is Irish Water it’s a disgrace.“It’s a total fudge, it’s a smokescreen and they’re jeopardising this meeting by talking about Irish services.”Party colleague John Ryan (FG) said: “There is no doubt about it, it’s a very important issue, there has been a lot of discussion on this topic; a lot of it has been accurate, a lot of it hasn’t.“There are several types of assets being transferred to Irish Water, the assets that we are transferring that provide a service now saying that they still have a worth to the Donegal County Council because they’re providing a service.“It’s a mistake in to say we’re handing over €355 million worth of assets.“We can talk about Irish Water all day but in this arena we have no say or no power to change anything about it.“We owe the people of Donegal to talk about the budget instead of potentially dissolving the council.”Seamus O’Domhnaill (FF) said: “I accept it’s a book value of €355 million for Donegal’s water assets but in my opinion it’s worth more than the book value.“I have to ask the question – are the people of Donegal getting the best value for money for the services we provide and I don’t think they do.“Our roads are in terrible condition and to be honest the money allocated to roads both nationally and here in Donegal will make them worse.“We talked about creating employment, we could create employment by getting people out on our roads.“Are we going to become tax collectors for Irish Water?“We should not be working on behalf of Irish water.“We should have also re-evaluated our development charges long before this situation arose.”* Check Donegal Daily Facebook and Twitter Feeds for more.THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER! IT IS NOW – PHIL HOGAN SET TO RUN DONEGAL AFTER COUNCIL COLLAPSE was last modified: January 8th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Department of the EnvironmentDonegal County CouncilPhil Hoganlast_img read more