FIANNA Fáil Councillor M J O’Ryan walked out of last Thurday’s plenary meeting of Waterford City & County Council, held in Dungarvan.
Cllr O’Ryan said he was protesting over not being allowed to speak during a discussion on the monthly Management Report.
Cllr O’Ryan claimed that he had signalled twice during the Manager’s report, indicating that he wanted to contribute to the discussion.
However, Mayor John Cummins (FG) said he had not seen Cllr O’Ryan indicate and, regardless of this, he said the discussion on the Management Report could not continue due to time constraints.
Mayor Cummins added that he could not allow time for Cllr O’Ryan’s queries as he had already indicated that Cllr Seanie Power (FG) could not comment.
Cllr O’Ryan then announced that he was leaving the meeting in protest as he was not being given time to represent the people of Comeragh.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr O’Ryan said that Council meetings should not be controlled by time constraints.
“It is the right of Councillors to speak on behalf of their constituents and on Thursday I had a lot to say. If meetings have to go on three to four hours so be it,” he said.
“The Mayor gave me no option but to leave the chamber as I wasn’t allowed to speak on such an important issue. Last year, under (Fianna Fáil colleague) Mayor Tobin’s direction, Councillors were not restricted in speaking or coming in again to contribute further to a discussion.
“It’s no good organising emergency meetings if you are going to restrict discussion at normal Council meetings. People of Comeragh are still suffering and their roads won’t be fixed for a long time.”
Cllr O’Ryan said he had a number of important issues which he wished to raise in relation to recent flooding.