Belfast Telegraph

'No merit' to SDLP councillor's review call of Irish event

Request: Declan O’Loan
Request: Declan O’Loan

By Rebecca Black

An attempt by an SDLP councillor on Mid and East Antrim Council to force a review of a decision taken over an Irish language event in the borough has failed.

Declan O'Loan requested a 'call-in' after the council voted during a meeting in February to note correspondence from Conradh na Gaeilge (CnG) requesting that an Irish language event is held in the borough during Irish Language Week.

The council voted to note the correspondence and signpost CnG to its grants department.

Mr O'Loan then instigated a call-in - a council procedure which allows a council decision to be reconsidered if 15% of councillors present felt it was not properly reached or would adversely affect a section of the community.

But the call-in was found to have no merit.

Meanwhile, it is understood that plans are under way to host an event in the borough as part of Irish Language Week which takes place this year between March 1-17.

A spokesman for Mid and East Antrim Council confirmed the call-in was found to have no merit.

"A call-in was instigated following the decision by elected members during February's full meeting of council to signpost an Irish language group to council's funding streams," he said.

"The call-in was carried out by independent senior legal counsel who found no merit in the claim the decision taken by members had 'disproportionately affected adversely any section of the community'.

"The legal counsel's opinion, in full, was circulated to all 40 elected members on Thursday, March 1, before the council meeting on Monday, March 5 to allow adequate time to peruse this opinion.

"On Monday evening, council agreed to uphold the decision taken the previous month.

"The mayor and senior council officers recently met with Conradh na Gaeilge to plan an event to mark Irish Language Week, similar to that held last year, and set to take place in Mid and East Antrim in the coming weeks."

Belfast Telegraph

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