I nearly fell off my seat laughing on reading the attached report in the Irish Times.
Even in a corrupt country like Ireland, where denial of reality is an integral part of our culture, this takes some beating.
Apparently, everyone concerned is going to pretend that Cllr. Fahy was never jailed for fraud but ‘in reality’ his absence from the council was due to illness.
If this story was broadcast as a comedy sketch there would be immediate complaints for portraying the Irish as stupid.
Jailed Galway councillor to retain seat
Lorna Siggins Western Correspondent
Wed, Sep 12, 2007
Independent Galway county councillor Michael “Stroke” Fahy has secured unanimous support from colleagues for retention of his local authority seat while serving a jail sentence.
The former Fianna Fáil representative, who is appealing a 12-month conviction and fine for misappropriation of local authority funds, is in Castlerea prison, Co Roscommon.
The county council was loath to disqualify him under the provisions of the 2001 Local Government Act, on the basis that an appeal of his case was pending. However, the same legislation says a councillor is deemed to have resigned if he or she fails to attend local authority meetings for a continuous six-month period.
A meeting of the council yesterday heard a request from Cllr Fahy for colleagues to accept that his absence from meetings was due to “illness and his attendance in Dublin”. He is not due to be released from prison until January 2008, although his appeal may be heard this November.
Cllr Fahy was sentenced on March 22nd last and given a fortnight to make arrangements for his elderly mother, with whom he had been living in south Galway. On the night before he was due to start his jail term – April 3rd – he was admitted to University College Hospital, Galway, and had a cardiac operation.
The councillor had resigned from Fianna Fáil when a Garda investigation was initiated into misappropriation of funds, following a freedom of information request to the local authority. Councillors are allowed up to 18 months leave of absence if colleagues agree on extenuating circumstances.
© 2007 The Irish Times