West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin seek legal advice on "abuse of power" by DUP Omagh Council Chairman

Published: 7 November, 2012

Sinn Fein forced the adjournment of last night's monthly meeting of Omagh District Council in protest at what they describe as an 'abuse of power' by DUP Chair Errol Thompson's over his refusal to allow debate on motions the party has submitted for consideration in the Council Chamber last night.

Sinn Féin says that the conduct of the DUP Chair has serious implications for relations within Council and as well as seeking legal advice on the matter they have also sought an urgent meeting with Council Chief Executive Danny McSorley on the fallout from last night's meeting.

Leader of the Sinn Féin council group, Glenn Campbell accused the chairman of 'stifling debate' and claimed his actions had 'overstepped the mark, allowing party politics to come before his obligations as Chair of Council.' "At last night's Council meeting, the conduct of the Chairman in stifling debate was nothing short of disgraceful. His actions were completely unacceptable and out of order. "

"Sinn Fein put forward 3 motions for consideration last night - two of these were ruled out of order before Sinn Fein forced the meeting to be adjourned. We belief this was a flagrant abuse of the position of chair and indeed we are currently taking legal advice on these issues.

"I have never witnessed such behaviour from a Chair in my time on Omagh District Council. Motions should be debated and voted on in a democratic manner. "We believe the DUP Chair, Errol Thompson overstepped the mark, allowing party politics to come before his interests as chair of the council. The use of his position to stifle debate on these motions was totally unacceptable and an affront to the principles of democracy.

"Sinn Fein is seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of Omagh District council to discuss this issue further. The actions of the chair have set back relations within the chamber of Omagh District council. The Council cannot allow itself to be dictated to by the narrow political agenda of the DUP.CRÍOCH