Friday, December 07, 2018

MAYOR of Kildare Seán Power has hit out at a fellow councillor for posting a “wholly unwarranted and wholly inaccurate” tweet.

He called on fellow Kildare-Newbridge municipal district councillor Fiona McLoughlin Healy to publicly apologise for incorrectly stating that a recent trip to China by himself and a senior council official was funded by the Irish taxpayer.

He said the tweet had caused an illicit reaction from the public.

Cllr McLoughlin Healy apologised at the monthly council meeting after Cllr Power said the trip to Guangdong province last October came about following an invitation from the Chinese embassy.

He said it was fully paid for by embassy and there was no expense for the Irish taxpayer.

He said the tweet was unbecoming and extremely damaging to his good name.

Cllr Power added that “while reserving my position on any action” he immediately required an apology in the chamber and on twitter.

Cllr McLoughlin Healy said she had no problem apologising. She said that had it been clear that the trip was not funded by the tax payer she would never have made such a statement.

Cllr Power said he had informed the members of the trip at the September meeting.

He spoke about the trip earlier in the meeting during Mayor’s Business.

He said himself and director of services Niall Morrissey had had a number of very interesting and important meetings.

“There are a variety of reasons why China wants to do business in different parts of the world,” said Cllr Power.

“Kildare had a connection with Guangdong province and it wanted more than a friendship.”

In 2017, the council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Guangdong provincial authorities in China.

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By Lynda Doyle
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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