Resigning Green Party councillor denies rift with colleague

Former Dundalk Town Councillor Ollan Herr has finally spoken about his resignation from Dundalk Town Council.

Former Dundalk Town Councillor Ollan Herr has finally spoken about his resignation from Dundalk Town Council.

Questions were raise by the Democrat last month concerning former Senator Mark Dearey retaking his seat, but former Cllr Herr says he was “happy” with the arrangment which saw him vacate his seat at the end of January.

Herr said “I can’t understand why there has been concern or negative comment in relation to my resignation and the selection of Mark Dearey to fill the vacancy.

“I want to dispel any rumours that there is a rift between myself and Mark. I want to confirm that I’m very happy indeed that he has been chosen to take my place - we have so many shared environmental and “quality of life” values.

Over the years Mark and I have worked together for organic food, for clean air, for a radioactive and a toxic free environment and for measures to protect the health of youngsters, be it from drug abuse or from the unethical marketing of high sugar drinks.

“I have worked with Mark Dearey on the Dundalk Drug Action Group; Mark has been a support to me in proposing a public consultation on measures to limit high sugar drinks to young people.

“To have a family member involved in drug abuse or to watch “Operation Transformation” on the TV is to begin to appreciate what is involved in trying to change one’s lifestyle and eating habits.

He and I have been active over decades against the building of new nuclear facilities in Britain. Mark and I have had the privilege of chairing meetings of the Irish branch of the “Nuclear Free Local Authorities”.

As well as most of my former councillor colleagues, I know that Mark will also be active in pushing the general policy for safe traffic separated cycling routes throughout the town for local schoolchildren.

“Although I will no longer be a councillor I will continue to campaign on this issue. Mark Dearey has made no secret of his support in the past for the creation of a cycling culture among the youth of Dundalk.”

Ollan added that it was “an honour and a privilege to serve as a member of Dundalk Town Council; all of my former Councillor colleagues gave serious consideration of my various Notice of Motions.

“From all Parties they invariably considered the merits of my proposals rather than reacting to my political party.

“I want to thank them all most sincerely,” he said.