Row as three councillors accused of boycotting tribute to Liam Cosgrove

by Emma Nolan
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Three Sinn Fein councillors have denied being disrespectful after they were accused of boycotting a minute’s silence for Liam Cosgrave at this week’s Dun Laoghaire Rathdown council meeting.

Cllrs Shane O’Brien, Sorcha Nic Cormaic and Chris Curran left Monday night’s council meeting before a minute’s silence could be had for the late former Taoiseach, much to the annoyance of some other councillors, who labelled their actions “disrespectful”.

However, the three Sinn Fein councillors claim that they did not in fact boycott the tribute but left due to health reasons.

Cllr Nic Cormaic is nine months pregnant and has been experiencing Braxton Hicks, otherwise known as false contractions.

She explained that she wasn’t well enough to go to the meeting, but planned to go to support her party colleague’s motion.

“I was ready to leave 20 minutes before we did, I had my computer shut down, we were waiting on the Section 1 68 part that we were trying to get through and I was ready to run out as soon as it was over.

“I can’t send anyone to vote in my place and I knew if it came down to it I would need to be there even though I was feeling really rotten.”

The motion was ruled out of order and never made it to the floor so Cllr Nic Cormaic left and was joined by her Sinn Fein colleagues who brought her to her car because she was feeling unwell.

It was then that that the minute’s silence for Liam Cosgrave took place.

“People are jumping to conclusions – it wasn’t even on the agenda,” Cllr Nic Cormaic said.

“I didn’t even realise we missed the minute’s silence,” Cllr O’Brien said.

“My politics are very different to what Liam Cosgrave’s were, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to disrespect anyone that’s dead, so there wasn’t an actual decision made on that.”

However, Fine Gael councillor Emma Blain said she feels the three had “plenty of opportunities to leave” and that their timing was disrespectful.

“I fully sympathise with Sorcha if she was in pain, but I find the coincidental nature of his [Cllr O’Brien’s] explanation difficult to believe,” Cllr Blain said.

“There were plenty of other opportunities for them to leave and it was very clear that a moment’s silence was being called and everybody stood up in the chamber to observe it apart from the three Sinn Fein councillors who left hurriedly, and disrespectfully, in my opinion.

“One more minute in the chamber is not going to make a difference.”

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