DAIRYGOLD WITHDRAWS COMMUNITY COUNCIL SPONSORSHIP
The Avondhu has learned this week that Dairygold has withdrawn its sponsorship of Mitchelstown Community Council.
The move apparently comes on foot of recent controversy that arose at the annual general meeting of the community council in relation to a separate account that was set up to ensure the anonymity of the donor of sponsorship to fund a number of projects. A spokesperson for the co-op declined to comment when questioned about the move.
Mitchelstown Community Council moved to clear the air with the release of a press statement clarifying issues that were raised at its AGM on April 30.
Meanwhile a petition is being organised locally calling for a special general meeting of the community council.
Martin Lane, a spokesperson for a group that describes itself as ‘concerned members of the Mitchelstown community’, confirmed that they have written to Mitchelstown Community Council (MCC) outlining a list of questions they feel need to be answered.
“I have looked on in dismay at the goings on at the MCC and the people of Mitchelstown are entitled to answers,” Mr Lane told The Avondhu this week.
Having sent the list of 11 questions to the MCC last week, Martin Lane said he had, so far, not received an answer.
“So, as part of the constitution of the MCC, rule No 4 states that a special general meeting can be summoned by a written petition of 250 adult members of the community. We are gathering this petition at the moment.”
Mr Lane went on to say that he is particularly concerned after it was reported to him that a bank account was opened in Fermoy by board members of the MCC which, it is claimed, the treasurer of the board knew nothing about.
“The questions have to be asked if the treasurer did not know of the existence of a second account. Who did? And why did they not make available the accounts to the treasurer?
"Secondly, what has been the outcome of the questions raised by the revelation of a second account. How can the community council operate when the committee do not know what is going on?,” Mr Lane questioned.
He also expressed his astonishment at the reported expenses incurred by members of the board of Mitchelstown Community Council.
“Why are the expenses for a voluntary organisation so high? There was a time when the MCC was run from the proceeds of the church gate collection. Is it now time for the MCC to disband and Muinter na Tire be brought in to run new elections so that the mission statement of the community council can be upheld.”
Martin Lane also queried as to why the public are not allowed attend the AGM of Mitchelstown Community Council.
“In a phone call with Muintir na Tire, I was informed that it knew of no grounds where a community council should have an AGM behind closed doors. These questions and a lot more need to be satisfactorily answered by the executive of Mitchelstown Community Council.”
When contacted by The Avondhu, Seamus Kilmartin, the new chairman of Mitchelstown Community Council, said the letter from Martin Lane was received at the end of the AGM and it was not possible to deal with it then.
“However, we intend to discuss the matters raised by Mr Lane at the next meeting. I would not like to comment, nor would it be appropriate for me to comment, on the questions in the letter until then. A reconvened annual general meeting of Mitchelstown Community Council was held last week to elect a new board and to discuss questions concerning the transaction of funds in a bank account held and operated by certain officers on the board. The original AGM, held on April 30, concluded without electing officers for the new season.
Following the meeting, the MCC issued a press statement to The Avondhu which read as follows: “At the reconvened annual general meeting of the Mitchelstown Community Council held on Thursday, May 14 last, the annual accounts of the Mitchelstown Community Council were adopted by the meeting. Contrary to public comment and rumour, the accounts were in order. There was no misappropriation of funds by any past or present member of the community council.
"It was the view of the meeting that the rules and constitution of the community council are in need of review. This review will be carried out in the coming months. An anonymous donation was received by Mitchelstown Community Council, which was used for community projects in Mitchelstown in recent months.
"In an effort to respect and maintain the anonymity of the donor the executive of the community council decided to open a separate bank account for the administration of that fund. This account was administered by five officers of the community council and the funds were included in the treasurer’s report adopted at the reconvened annual general meeting.”
A source who has close ties with Mitchelstown Community Council told The Avondhu: “An irresponsible, selective leak from a member of MCC has done untold damage.”
The source contended that the whole issue had aroused considerable ‘ill feeling’ within the community council and that, as a result, a number of the previous officers of MCC had decided against seeking re-election. These were people who had accomplished great work with the community council and they did not deserve to be treated in such a fashion.”
Thursday 21st May 7:56pm