An attempt by the five Sinn Fein councillors on the Tipperary County Council to introduce the D-Hont system for the election of Chairman and Vice Chairman of the new authority, failed, with Nenagh’s Cllr Seamie Morris, labelling those who supported the Fine Gael and Fianna Fail pact as ‘mercenaries’.
The Tipperary version of D Hont which has been used in Nenagh for many years, would, according to Sinn Fein, fit perfectly as a democratic tool to drive on the authority. “It would shed the undeomcratic pact system which has been used in the past to settle old scores of parties left out of previous pacts. The D-Hont system, as used in Nenagh, is all inclusive and doesn’t allow any party to look down their nose on any other elected member,” Sinn Fein said in a document issued to the press on the day.
The system would have seen the poll topper from each area becoming the Chairman of Tipperary County Council for each of the five years with the Vice Chairmen coming from the second past the post in each of the areas.
Similarly in the Muncipal Districts, the first past the post would have been chairman and then 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in subsequent years.
Councillor Morris told members that the people of Tipperary had very clearly voted for change in the local elections.
“They rejected old time politics and voted for Sinn Fein and Independents more than ever before. They didn’t vote for the old style politics of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and the few mercenaries they gathered up along the way. This system is very devisive and the people of Tipperary rejected it,” he said before adding that the D-Hont system was used in Dublin and Cork County Councils.
The call from Cllr Morris was rejected with the first councillor elected to the authority - Cllr Michael Fitzgerald elected Chairman following a vote.
Cllr Seamus Hanafin called on Cllr Morris to withdraw his ‘merceraries’ comment, saying that it was very regrettable. but he did not.