24 June 2004 Edition

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Publish details of Sligo pact - MacManus

SF Councillor Seán MacManus

SF Councillor Seán MacManus

The outgoing Mayor of Sligo, Cllr Seán MacManus, has called on the Fianna Fáil/Labour Coalition on Sligo Borough Council to publicise details of the written agreement reached between both parties, which includes their sharing the Mayoralty and domination of most other committees of the new Council.

Speaking to An Phoblacht after the election of Cllr Declan Bree as Mayor, Cllr MacManus said;

"Whilst the Sinn Féin councillors voted for and welcome the election of Cllr Bree as Mayor, we would urge him and his Labour colleagues to publish details of the agreement which they have signed up to with Fianna Fáil. In the interests of openness and transparency, frequently referred to by the Labour group, it would be right that the public are made aware of what caused this massive U-turn by the Labour Party. Why have they now agreed to form a Coalition with a party, which in the words of Cllr Bree's recent election manifesto includes councillors "who voted to impose service charges, who supported speculators and who voted for privatisation, betrayed the very people they claim to represent"?

'I'm sure that those who now feel betrayed are those who voted for the Labour party," said MacManus. "Those voters and indeed the wider public must be told what caused this about-face by Cllr Bree and his colleagues.

"During the final week of my term as Mayor I made major efforts to secure a United Coalition of all four parties on Sligo Borough Council. This would include the rotation of the position of Mayor and Deputy Mayor between each party over the next five years. The main reason for this unique departure was an attempt to overcome the bickering between the various groups and to allow all Councillors to work in harmony to promote and develop Sligo. Indeed, the three Sinn Féin councillors had agreed to recommend that Cllr Bree be the first Mayor of this term. Unfortunately, our attempts to get inclusiveness were spurned by Labour and their new partners in Fianna Fáil in their rush to exclude Sinn Féin and Fine Gael.

Seán MacManus concluded: "As the main opposition party to the new Fianna Fáil/Labour coalition, Sinn Féin takes this opportunity to assure the public that we will take every step necessary to ensure that the Coalition is held responsible for its actions over the coming months. Given Fianna Fáil's record in Government this new alliance does not bode well for Sligo."

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1