High Court judicial review rules in favor of Castleisland councilor over local development board selection process

The High Court has ruled in favor of a Castleisland councilor who sought judicial review of the selection process for a local development council.

Independent Councilor Charlie Farrelly, elected in the Municipal District of Castleisland-Corca Dhuibhne, has taken legal action against Kerry County Council after Fianna Fáil’s Mikey Sheehy and Fine Gael’s Mike Kennelly were elected to the Kerry County Council. North, East and West Kerry Development Authority.

Cllr Farrelly claimed the big parties were abusing a grouping system used to vote.

Fianna Fail Councilor Mikey Sheehy, Fine Gael Councilor Mike Kennelly and Independent Councilor Charlie Farrelly have been put forward for nominations for two available positions on the NEWKD board.

On the first ballot, Cllr Sheehy received 17 votes, Cllr Kennelly received no votes and Cllr Farrelly received 9 votes, thus Cllr Sheehy was appointed to the board.

A new round of voting took place with all elected members, who had already voted, voting again.

The second ballot saw Cllr Kennelly receive 16 votes and Cllr Farrelly received 10, meaning Cllr Kennelly took the second position.

During the hearing, Cllr Farrelly argued that there had been tactical voting by the majority group and that he would have been elected using a different voting approach.

Kerry County Council said there could be no certainty what would have happened in a different voting situation.

Madam Justice Niamh Hyland found that the appointments of advisers Sheehy and Kennelly were unlawful; she declared a sequential vote and overturned the decision of Kerry County Council.

She said that the illegality arose, not because of the use of successive voting per se, but because the successive voting that took place was carried out in accordance with a procedure which was not available to Cllr Farrelly .

Judge Hyland proposed a remote hearing on May 30 at 10 a.m. on the remand and costs, with both sides having the option of requesting another date.