Socialist councillor to resign after family member pays property tax bill

Frank Gallagher of Drogheda Borough Council says tax paid without his knowledge

The Facebook page of Frank Gallagher of Drogheda Borough Council

The Facebook page of Frank Gallagher of Drogheda Borough Council

Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 11:34

A Socialist Party councillor has said he will resign his seat after a family member paid his property tax bill without his knowledge.

Frank Gallagher of Drogheda Borough Council said he was “heartbroken and devastated” about stepping down but had to act on his principles because he believed the mandate given to him by voters had been invalidated by the payment of the charge.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Mr Gallagher did not reveal who had paid the bill. “When I became aware that the Local Property Tax liability on my home was discharged, not by me, I immediately found myself in a position of having to chose between political expediency and principled and honest public representation,” he said. “For me there was never a contest, or conflict, in my mind on the issue.”

Mr Gallagher said he had promised voters in the run-up to the 2009 local elections that he would not simply “talk the talk” in relation to what he described as “stealth taxes”.

Mr Gallagher said he wanted to set an example as a councillor and participate in a campaign of organised boycott of property and water charges. Since his election, he had “unashamedly supported and encouraged, both publicly and privately the national...strategy of opposition here in Drogheda”.

Ciarán McKenna, who chairs the Drogheda Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes, is tipped to replace Mr Gallagher on the Borough Council.

However, Mr Gallagher said he hoped to be able to attempt to renew his mandate at next year’s local elections.

“I’m heartbroken and devastated by these unfortunate turn of events. I now consider the mandate given to me by the people of Drogheda North to represent them on Drogheda Borough Council, in June 2009, to be broken,” he said,

“I will not be in a position to renew that mandate until next year’s local elections.”

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