Down Memory Lane in Longford: FF join FG to freeze out the Independents

Story of the week from July 19th, 1991

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Fine Gael and Fianna Fail will share the chair of Longford County Council between them for the next five years following the agreement of a pact between the two parties hammered out on Thursday morning last.

James Bannon (FG) took the chair and Brian Lynch (FF) the vice-chair where the actions of the two parties led to the trenchant criticism from Independents Mae Sexton and Peter Murphy and Sinn Fein councillor Sean Lynch.

Lynch, in fact, walked out of the meeting in protest describing the pact as “a low low trick”. He also alleged that Fianna Fail had conducted a smear campaign against him in North Longford during the run up to the local elections.

Mae Sexton described the pact as “a cosy little arrangement”, with the independents left out. She said that the parties were very welcome to their arrangement but if that is what they think of democracy then the people of Longford might let them know what democracy really is.

Peter Murphy (Ind) said that it was a sad day for county Longford but it certainly wasn't a sad day for the three Independents. “We'll walk out of this Chamber and we can hold our heads high”. “We offered real power-sharing”, he said, “and ye weren't men enough to take it”.