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High Court judicial review rules in favour of Castleisland councillor over selection process for local development board

May 17, 2022 17:05 By radiokerrynews
High Court judicial review rules in favour of Castleisland councillor over selection process for local development board High Court judicial review rules in favour of Castleisland councillor over selection process for local development board
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The High Court has ruled in favour of a Castleisland councillor who sought a judicial review over the selection process for a local development board.

Independent councillor Charlie Farrelly, who’s elected to the Castleisland-Corca Dhuibhne Municipal District, took legal action against Kerry County Council after Fianna Fáil’s Mikey Sheehy and Fine Gael’s Mike Kennelly were elected to the board of the North, East and West Kerry Development.

Cllr Farrelly claimed the larger parties abused a grouping system used for voting.

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Fianna Fail councillor Mikey Sheehy, Fine Gael’s Mike Kennelly and Independent councillor Charlie Farrelly were put forward for nominations to two positions available on NEWKD’s board.

In the first round of voting, Cllr Sheehy received 17 votes, Cllr Kennelly received no votes and Cllr Farrelly received 9 votes, thus Cllr Sheehy was nominated to the board.

A further round of voting took place with all elected members, who had previously voted, voting again.

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The second round of voting saw Cllr Kennelly receive 16 votes and Cllr Farrelly received 10, meaning Cllr Kennelly took the second position.

In the hearing, Cllr Farrelly argued there was tactical voting by the majority group and he’d have been elected by a different voting approach.

Kerry County Council said that there can be no certainty about what would have happened in a different voting situation.

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Ms Justice Niamh Hyland found the appointments of Cllrs Sheehy and Kennelly were unlawful; she said successive voting and quashed Kerry County Council’s decision.

She said illegality arose, not because of the use of successive voting per se, but because the successive voting that took place was done in accordance to a procedure which was not available to Cllr Farrelly.

Judge Hyland has proposed a remote hearing for May 30th at 10am on remittal and costs, with both parties being given to the option to apply for an alternative date.

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