We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Donegal County House where the vote took place. Google Street View

Donegal County Council on verge of collapse after failure to agree budget

The budget was defeated with 15 votes to 13.

DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL failed to agree on a budget last night following a full three days of discussion on it, leaving the future of the council uncertain this morning.

The votes were 13 in favour and 15 against with a number of the councillors expressing opposition to the introduction of water charges.

While this result would generally mean a dissolution of the council and the appointment of a special administrator to run it, a decision was made to adjourn the meeting until next week.

Speaking after the vote yesterday, Sinn Féin councillor Mick Quinn, who voted against the budget, said his party would “not be involved in any process that will further increase taxes and reduce services for families across Donegal.

“We were not given a mandate to introduce water charges and we will not be doing Minister Hogan’s dirty work for him,” he said.

As a result of last night’s vote, all councillors lose their salaries but Quinn said they did not seek election for a salary or for personal gain.

Donegal has been devastated by unemployment and emigration. Donegal has worst infrastructure in Ireland. Our roads are crumbling. We have the highest rate of unemployment in Ireland and the lowest disposable income and youth unemployment is at almost 50 per cent.

Independent councillors John Campbell and  Seamus O’Domhnaill also voiced their opposition to the budget last night on Twitter:


Fianna Fáil Dublin City Councillor Paul McAuliffe took the opportunity to call on his Labour colleagues in the council to also vote against a budget proposed for next Monday.

This budget would see a 14 per cent increase in council rents, a €6 million reduction in the homeless budget and a move that would see the central government hold all local property tax raised.

“The failure of government to allow the property tax fund local services is a broken promise made only months ago,” he commented. “In March 2013 Minister Phil Hogan said in an explicit promise that the tax would assist the funding of new service.”

He said that instead, the council had seen a reduction in the local government fund and the money is being diverted to create the new entity Irish Water which will meter water from next year.

However one constituency rival, Fine Gael candidate Noel Rock, accused McAuliffe of “pump and dump”, saying his comments were “classic Bertie-esque pump and dump: pump up the populism, then dump the decision making”.

Explainer: Donegal councillors have to agree a budget next Monday – or they’ll be removed

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.