Fianna Fáil Dáil candidate for Wicklow Cllr Jennifer Cuffe has called out Renua on their hypocrisy over proposals put forward by the party to reverse the Government decision to abolish town councils.
Cllr Cuffe made the comments after Renua claimed that restoring town councils would be a “red line” issue for the party in Government. This is despite the fact that Renua TD’s were vocal supporters of the abolition of town councils in the first instance.
“Renua’s hypocrisy is again on display for all to see following the party’s u-turn on town councils. Renua Leader Lucinda Creighton says that the restoration of town councils would be a red line issue for the party. However a brief examination of the Dáil record shows that she was a vocal supporter of getting rid of them in the first place,” said Cllr Cuffe.
“What’s worse is the fact that Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan and Paul Bradford were also vocal supporters of this mean minded and short termist policy. In essence the entirety of the Renua party called for the abolition of town councils, and now that they realise how unpopular the decision was they have decided to do a spectacular u-turn.
“Deputy Timmins in particular told former Minister Phil Hogan in the Dáil that, “He should abolish town councils, reduce the number of county councils and regionalise them”. Minister Hogan subsequently abolished the town councils of Arklow, Bray, Greystones and Wicklow town. This led to a significant weakening of local democracy here in Wicklow.
“Lucinda Creighton was a strong supporter Fine Gael’s policy of abolishing and consolidating town and local councils, as set out in ‘Putting People First’ which she was a cheerleader for in government. Deputy Creighton called for the abolition of the four Dublin Local Authorities as far back as 2010.
“Today Renua claim that the “restoration of town councils is viewed by the party as playing a central role in plans to re-energise local government”. However its members have done as much as their former party colleagues in Fine Gael to degrade local government and reduce local community voice in government decision making,” said Cllr Cuffe.