An inter party bust up in Fine Gael rocketed to new heights last week when Laytown based councillor Sharon Tolan blasted party colleague, Paddy Meade, on social media for allegedly parking in a disabled parking space on Bettystown beach on Wednesday July 15th.
Tolan took to twitter and tweeted, ”disappointing to see that a Cllr who claimed to champion the needs of those with disabilities is now parked in a disability parking space…………championing business.’
Meade himself had earlier posted a tweet which showed that his car was indeed on the beach when he tweeted, ‘Eating ice cream in my car on Bettystown beach today, how many laws am I breaking.’
The background to the row is rooted in Tolan’s proposal to a recent council meeting that wanted to ban all cars from the beach, but which failed to get the required support, with Meade being one of its most vocal opponents.
In fact the Lobinstown man went to the extreme lengths of spending a number of hours moving around Bettystown in a wheelchair to establish how difficult it would be for wheelchair bound people to access the beach if no cars were allowed on it.
He recorded his efforts and posted them to his Facebook page and during his sojourn, he was challenged by the son of a woman who was a prominent player in Tolan’s last local election campaign.
Tolan’s tweet last week was immediately followed by a number of supportive tweets including one from her sister Louise, which said about Meade, ‘He’d sell your granny &her wheelchair &her ice cream for few headlines # zero integrity’.
That tweet was subsequently deleted, but others are believed to have been posted mocking Meade’s dress sense,
One poster called ‘Afterproit’ challenged Tolan to produce pictures of the illegal parking but it was not replied to.
One well known Fine Gael member, Aaron Sweeney called Tolan’s initial post ‘ an utterly desperate tweet’.
Meath county council has told Meath Live, ‘At the time of the alleged incident on July 15th there were no disabled parking spaces on Bettystown beach so no individual could have been parked in a disabled parking spot.
‘On July 16th the council did install three ‘Age Friendly Parking For Older People, signs but they were not at the location alleged to have been used in the incident the previous day.’
Sharon Tolan failed to reply to a series of questions sent to her.