In a landmark judgement delivered Wednesday 17 May in the High Court by Ms. Justice Eileen Robert, costs were awarded to Cllr. Frank McBrearty against Donegal County Council in a case dating back to February 2022 when the council sought a High Court order restraining Cllr McBrearty from attending council meetings.
The Council accused Cllr McBrearty of being disruptive when he insisted on raising the issue of houses in Buncrana purchased by the Council despite some officials allegedly knowing that they had crumbling concrete.
Prior to the orders being made, Mr McBrearty told the court he would attend the upcoming council meeting as a “democratically elected councillor” and would “take the consequences”.
“I am prepared to sit in Mountjoy as long as I have to…I have a duty to represent the people of Donegal at that council meeting and to expose corruption.”
He said he has been raising issues of public importance and exposing alleged “systemic corruption” within the council.
Responding to Wednesday’s High Court judgement Cllr McBrearty issued a statement calling for the Council officials involved in taking the failed court proceedings to carry the “legal costs out of their own pocket.”
He says that allegations of systemic and political corruption in Donegal County Council has been ignored by successive governments for too long and is calling on Minister Darragh O’Brien to establish a public inquiry into the goings on in the Council.
Cllr McBrearty says that the taxpayers shouldn’t end up being stung for the very significant legal costs that run to a six figure sum.
Unfortunately today’s judgment is not the end of the matter. Donegal County Council took separate High Court proceedings against Cllr McBrearty in March that resulted in his suspension from attending council meetings for three months.
Cllr McBrearty is currently in the process of mounting a legal challenge to this latest suspension that’s expected to be lodged in the High Court in the very near future.