16 July 1998 Edition
Special meeting seeks border funds
SF still excluded from chair
A Sinn Féin initiative to request new Irish government funding for the border region in the wake of the Good Friday agreement was supported by Monaghan County Council at a special meeting last week.
A previous attempt by SF Councillors Brian McKenna and Caoimhghín O Caoláin to have the County Council write to the Taoiseach pressing the issue did not succeed as other councillors refused to set aside petty politics to support a Sinn Féin motion. However the Sinn Féin councillors subsequently won the support of enough councillors to call a special meeting which was held on 6 July.
The Council voted unanimously to request government action on funding, particularly in the light of British Chancellor of the Exchquer Gordon Brown's allocation of substantial extra funds for the Six Counties. The Council has written to the Taoiseach.
While the councillors belatedly supported the Sinn Féin call on the funding issue they stuck to their old pattern of exclusion when they refused to support the nomination of Councillor Brian McKenna as either chair or vice-chair of the County Council at their Annual General Meeting also on 6 July.
A similar act of exclusion was carried out at the AGM of Monaghan Urban District Council last month. Despite enjoying a very large mandate in the county Sinn Féin councillors have never held the chair of either Monaghan UDC or the County Council due to an unholy alliance of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.