Sparks will fly at the next meeting of Fingal County Council as SF Cllr for Swords, Ann Graves complained to council authorities that Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy wore his Chain of Office to a Fianna Fáil fundraiser where he was photographed with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien and developer Sean Reilly of Anglo Irish Bank ‘Maple 10’ fame.
The event was a Fianna Fáil golf fundraiser hosted at Donabate Golf Club on October 6. As yet, Fingal County Council have not commented on whether protocol was breached or not, but said its internal corporate policy group would review the complaint made by Cllr Graves.
However, the event was featured in national media over the weekend, and brought the former ‘sores’ of the construction crash to the surface, with Mr Reilly’s being named as one of the ‘Maple 10’ who took out loans from Anglo Irish Bank to buy Anglo shares, an attempt to prevent the bank from collapsing.
Mr Henchy confirmed to the Sunday Independent that he had invited Mr Reilly to the fundraising event and it was Mr Reilly’s team who won the golf fourball. Mr Henchy acknowledged that Sinn Féin and Cllr Graves had lodged a formal complaint against him, in the role of Fingal Mayor. He stated it would be inappropriate to discuss the matter further, until he got the opportunity to discuss it in the Chamber of Fingal County Council over the coming weeks. He reiterated how he holds the office in highest regard and didn’t feel he had done anything wrong.
But Cllr Graves stated she thought his wearing the Chain of Office at a political party fundraiser, and in the company with one of the infamous Maple 10 was in poor taste, and was not relevant to his role as Mayor.
“He is supposed to be representing the council and elected members, and by extension the constituents that we represent,” she said in her official complaint to Fingal County Council and Fingal Chief Executive, Ms AnnMarie Farrelly. Cllr Graves stated she received numerous calls from vexed constituents, one of whom asked ‘had the Galway tent moved to Donabate?’
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