Fianna Fáil councillors in plea for colleague to stay on as party chairman

FIANNA Fáil elected members have appealed to a colleague to remain as their leader within Limerick County Council after a “stormy” emergency meeting.

The meeting was convened following Councillor Kevin Sheahan’s threat that he was not prepared to act as the party’s chairman in the council chamber, after he lost his directorship on Shannon Foynes Port Company.

His brother-in-law, Fine Gael councillor David Naughton, replaced Mr Sheahan as a port company director after three FF members failed to turn up for a county council vote.

The emergency meeting of the Fianna Fáil members led to some angry exchanges.

Mr Sheahan did not attend the emergency meeting. He had lost his director seat on the port company by a single vote, 13-12.

However, three of his FF colleagues were not present for the crucial vote last Thursday. They were Councillor Noreen Ryan, Councillor John Gallahue and Councillor Michael Collins.

According to some sources, Councillor Eddie Wade was rounded on by Ms Ryan at the emergency meeting after he challenged her on her absence from last Thursday’s meeting.

The source said: “It was hot and heavy.”

Mr Wade refused to comment when contacted yesterday.

Ms Ryan told Limerick Live 95FM yesterday she was on her way to the meeting last Thursday to vote for Mr Sheahan when she had to attend to a private matter which she could not elaborate on.

During the reportedly stormy meeting, Councillor John Clifford intervened to calm matters down and Ms Ryan left before the meeting concluded.

It was, however, decided to ask Mr Sheahan to reconsider his decision and remain on as chairman of the group.

This request was yesterday conveyed to him by Mr Clifford on behalf of the other members of the FF group. Mr Collins told the meeting that he had a prior business engagement abroad and had flights booked.

He pointed out that he had not been consulted on the fixing of the date for last Thursday’s meeting at which the SFPC vote was taken.

That meeting had been scheduled for the previous Monday but had been adjourned as a mark of respect to the late Garda Brian Kelleher and firefighter, Mike Liston, killed in a road accident the previous day.

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