‘Vested interest’ claims rejected

THE controversy surrounding land zoning in tourist haven Killarney rumbles on.

In the latest turn, the town’s longest-serving local councillor has rejected a suggestion it was common practice for councillors to remain at council meetings when matters in which they had a vested interest were being debated.

Labour’s Sean O’Grady, a councillor for more than 30 years, denied an allegation by a fellow councillor to the Standards in Public Office Commission about members’ practice at Killarney Town Council. Fianna Fáil councillor Patrick O’Donoghue, who is at the centre of the ongoing zoning issue, told a commission hearing in March he could not recall one instance where a councillor, having declared an interest, had left a meeting in Killarney.

But at this week’s Killarney Town Council meeting, Mr O’Grady said he wished to reject that: “It is not true that anyone with a beneficial interest stayed continuously in the chamber.”

Mr O’Donoghue, who is managing director of Killarney’s Gleneagle Hotel, has argued he acted transparently in the planning motion to rezone his family lands at the Gleneagle Hotel complex.

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