Biggest Winners

Perhaps the biggest winners from the Council doing an about turn and passing the budget would be Sinn Fein. If everyone who attended the meeting had voted the way they said they were going to vote then the budget would not have passed. There would have been 14 votes for and 15 against.

The elected Council would have been dissolved and all the councillors would have been out of a job.

Public Convenience

Conveniently, Fianna Fail councillor Rena Donaghey had to leave for a more urgent appointment than the Council’s budget. It seems that she had some teaching duties to perform.

Despite the previous budget meeting lasting into the wee small hours and a deadline of midnight this time around, Rena had no inkling that this meeting might go past 6:15pm.

She didn’t get someone else to take over her teaching duties for the evening.

Vote Lost, Job Kept

She clearly knew that there was a possibility that her vote would be the crucial one and that with her leaving the vote could be lost, as it was.

Her departure at 6:15pm meant the budget would be passed against the policy of her party, Fianna Fail. It also meant that she would keep her job as a Councillor.

She would be the biggest loser of the budget fiasco.

Fianna Fail

Fianna Fail would not look great either. There has to be a suspicion that Rena ‘took one for the team’, that Fianna Fail and its Councillors were not too sad that the budget passed and that they kept their jobs.

People are very suspicious about here and this looked a bit of an obvious ploy to help Fianna Fail to both save face and keep their jobs. They’d made their point.

However, I don’t think they’re getting away with it when I hear people talk. They’re trying to blame Independent John Campbell when they couldn’t even make sure that all of their own Councillors stuck around for the vote.

Not Needed

They wouldn’t have needed him if Rena had stayed.

It makes it seem like a backwater place. It could hardly have looked worse if Rena had said she had to go to get her washing in.

Fianna Fail blinked.

Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein have come out of it well. They said they would vote against the budget and they did.

None of their Councillors had to go away before the vote go and watch Coronation Street or something like that.

They didn’t blink.

John Campbell

As regards Councillor John Campbell, we predicted beforehand that he would change his vote. He had made his point and all the things that they were protesting about were going to take place anyway, so it made sense to keep the Council going to represent their constituents.

I don’t hear anybody blaming him.

Fine Gael and Labour

As regards Fine Gael and Labour, they have taken a slight hit a glancing blow. They are seen as being connected with a Government which is taking Donegal Water and its €355 million worth of assets without paying a cent and forcing them into Irish Water.

However, the big losers are Fianna Fail and the big winners are Sinn Fein.

Don’t Walk Away Rena

And the biggest loser of the lot is Rena Donaghey who either decided to take one for the team or who had made no efforts or plans to make sure that she would be there up to the midnight deadline they had been given.

Leaving probably the most important meeting in Donegal over the past year for another engagement, ensuring that her party lost the vote and keeping her own job in the process when she walked out was inexcusable.

It will be interesting to see if her party takes action against her for failing to ensure that she would be there till the midnight deadline. If they don’t, it’ll look as if they were complicit in her early departure to save their own jobs.

To see what we predicted see Donegal Council – is this the last day?