[Sinn Fein]

16th January 2003

Sword of Damocles hanging over Dublin City Council

Cullen must remove threat to end local government

Sinn Fein TDs Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Martin Ferris, Arthur Morgan, Seán Crowe and Aengus Ó Snodaigh have called on Environment Minister Martin Cullen to end his bully boy tactics and remove his threat to give Dublin City Council the chop and replace it with unelected and unaccountable government appointed Commissioners.  

Dáil Group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``The very survival of Dublin City Council hangs in the balance tonight as Environment Minister Martin Cullen has signaled that he intends to abolish the Council if Councillors don't give into his threats and impose increased service charges on the people of Dublin.

``It is scandalous that any democratically elected local authority can be threatened in this manner.  It completely undermines the constitutionally recognised position of Local Government and sends the wrong message to an already disillusioned electorate. The power to abolish  local councils  should be done away with immediately.

``I am calling on Minister Cullen to remove this threat and allow Dublin City Councillors - who were elected by the people to run this city - to get on with their jobs.''

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