Independent councillor, Brian Fitzgerald, has welcomed a decision by the Office of the Information Commissioner to overturn Meath County Council‘s decision to deny councillors access to tape recordings of debates over the new County Development Plan.
Nine councillors – including seven independents, one Aontú and one Labour councillor – sought copies of the tape recordings of the meetings held physically and by zoom between October last year and March this year.
Fitzgerald told Meath Live, ‘As a group we are satisfied with the outcome, and personally I find it sad it had to go this far, at first we asked for this informally and only when down the FOI route when that was refused’
However, the council said they were only to aid the compilation of the written minutes of the meetings and that they could be destroyed after the six-year plan came into effect last month.
The Office of the Information Commissioner has now decided the councillor’s Freedom of Information request was valid and instructed the local authority to release the tapes.
Meath County Council has four weeks to decide if it will challenge the ruling in the High Court.