Donegal County Council has passed its Draft Budget for 2022 by 33 votes to two. Independent councillors Frank Mc Brearty Junior and Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig were the only two to vote against.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive John McLaughlin has said claims made by Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig in the course of his submission to the meeting will be investigated.
He said a transcription of the comments, made in Irish, will be obtained and fully translated, and Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig will then be asked to submit his evidence.
Cllr McBrearty said he too has evidence which he will submit.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Jack Murray says today’s budget was the culmination in a very long process in which members were centrally involved…….
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Cllr Murray described today as the biggest day of the council’s calendar.
He said with projected expenditure of over €162 million, the budget includes over a thousand euro for every man, woman and child in the county.
Finance Officer Richard Gibson presented members with a detailed outline of how the money will be spent.
He also outlined how the money will be raised, with over €46 million coming from grants, €37 million from commercial rates and almost €27 million from the Local Government Fund through Local Property Tax.
The council’s Capital Budget will be considered on Monday, with Mica one of the issues on that agenda.
Members were told the council has identified 1,000 social houses with defective concrete blocks, and is seeking €280 million over four years from the government to deal with that issue.
However, Cllr Frank McBrearty Junior told the meeting the council has not addressed the issue adequately, and claimed the council has not tested a lot of properties under its control.
He told the meeting this raises a number of important questions, not least in terms of insurance.
He also said there are other issues which he believes will ultimately need to be addressed through a public inquiry.