Councillor’s anger as referendum meeting axed

by Mark O'Brien
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Cllr Ruth Nolan has criticised councillors for appealing the Clonburris plan to An Bord Pleanala

A local pub has cancelled a trade union event calling for a Yes vote on the upcoming referendum due to the subject, despite hosting the launch of a Together for Yes group last month.

Cllr Ruth Nolan (Ind) had booked the Penny Hill in Lucan for a Trade Union for Yes event that was due to take place on Wednesday.

But Cllr Nolan told Dublin Gazette that she was told over the weekend that the event had been cancelled.

“They told me the decision was taken on Saturday night by head office,” she said.

“Due to the topic, they wouldn’t be allowing any meetings on their premises anywhere.”

Cllr Nolan said that she had printed 50 posters advertising the event and was frustrated that a lot of time and money had been wasted.

“I was just having my own personal meeting as a member of the trade union for repeal,” she said.

“I had speakers coming out from the trade union. This, as far as I’m concerned, is a women’s health issue.

“I’m an elected local representative and they have refused the venue on a women’s health issue.

“They should be impartial. It’s not as if we’re a satanic group going in.

“It was just an informative meeting by an elected representative to give reasons why we think the 8th should be repealed. It’s a simple as that.”

Cllr Nolan said that she booked the Penny Hill because the Dublin Midwest Together for Yes group had held a launch event there last month.

“I never held a meeting in the Penny Hill and the reason I picked the Penny Hill – I normally maybe go to Ballyowen Community Centre or Lucan Griffeen – because of the topic I felt confident enough to book that venue because the Together for Yes campaign went ahead there, so I didn’t think there was going to be any problem.”

The Penny Hill is owned by the Louis Fitzgerald group.

The group owns a number of pubs and hotels across the country.

In West Dublin, the group owns Finches and The Laurels pubs and Joel’s Restaurtant in Clondalkin, The Kiltipper Bar and Old Mill in Tallaght, The Palmerstown House in Palmerstown and the Poitin Still in Rathcoole.

The group also owns and operates the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel on the Naas Road.

Dublin Gazette contacted the Louis Fitzgerald group to query why Cllr Nolan’s meeting had been cancelled when the Together For Yes meeting was allowed to go ahead.

A spokesperson for the group said: “No meeting took place on our premises in April regarding the upcoming referendum. It is our policy to stay impartial.”

Dublin Midwest Together for Yes posted Facebook Live videos from the launch event in the Penny Hill on April 11 and added photos to Facebook the following day, thanking people for attending the event.

When sent these videos, the spokesperson responded: “I don’t know when that was. It clearly is in the Penny Hill.”

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