Ashbourne based Independent councillor, Joe Bonner, has told Meath Live that recent criticism of him on local social media message boards has illustrated once again that those who post on them need to do their homework first.

Bonner has been slammed by allies of his political rivals for making a submission to the Draft County development plan, on behalf of Ashbourne Community Council, to retain the existing residential zoning on lands at the Community Centre.

However, research done by Meath Live indicates it’s a case of mistaken identity.

The Joe Bonner who made the submission is a town planning consultant based in Dublin’s Baggot Street and has no connection with the councillor.

The Ashbourne Bonner, told us, ‘I have always and will continue to work for the community in an open, honest and transparent way and I want to state that recent comments suggesting I am going to build houses on community centre lands are untrue.

‘Let me be very clear on this I am NOT seeking a change of zoning on those lands, and there is a very simple and logical reason for this, it is to ensure the asset value of those lands is not lost to the community.

‘Statements posted on Facebook by a local party political activist are, to put it mildly, inaccurate, incorrect and appear to be motivated solely to take away my good name, damage my credibility and hurt me politically.

‘These posts are the latest in a series of attacks from the same sources and I would credit the people of Ashbourne with the intelligence to realise what is really going on here.

‘The campaign, which is very much a personal attack on me, intensified when I spoke out publicly against the appalling decision by An Bord Pleanala to build apartments on the only green space in Millbourne.

‘With regard to the zoning at the Community Centre lands this has been in place for around thirteen years now and according to Meath County Council is necessary to ensure a balanced approach to the development of the lands’.

Bonner is not one to shy away from a fight, he took the council and a developer to the High Court in an effort to secure better community facilities and walked away with a €1m fund for community development and also included a community house based in Broadmeadows.

And he doesn’t appear to be backing down now either as he claimed, ‘There is an online petition being circulated in regard to this issue and I would just remind people if they sign it that should it reach a successful conclusion it may well deprive the community of facilities in the future due to lack of collateral if these lands are devalued.

‘I feel people who signed the petition on the back of information posted on Facebook should now be given the opportunity to withdraw their names.

One source said, ‘The attack on Joe is coming from members of a party whose leader lauds those who get up early, well they’ll have to get up earlier than that to catch Bonner out, they blamed him for something his namesake done when a little bit of homework would have shown them they were wrong.

‘Or did they know anyway and tried to deliberately cause confusion, only they can answer that.’