City council facing further calls to make online meetings accessible to public

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway City Council is facing further calls to make its online meetings accessible to the public.

City councillor Owen Hanley has criticised the Local Authority for ‘dragging its feet’ on the issue.

In a recent post on Twitter, councillor Hanley said “Galway City Council’s January meeting ends in a flop as attempts to push for live streaming and legal protections for Council’s that stream are cut short due to being over the 2 hour time limit”.

In a statement, Galway city council says the facility exists under the current Standing Orders for members of the public to attend in person should meetings be held in Leisureland.

It adds that Standing Orders do not allow for members of the public to be ‘present’ at a remote meeting for the moment at least – but this will be reviewed again in March.

The council says public access to virtual meetings is being withheld at the moment for legal and technical reasons which include the absence of legal privilege on utterances at council and the risk of defamation.

It comes a several other local authorities nationwide have been streaming meetings online which the public can attend since the start of the pandemic.

Councillor Hanley argues it needs to be re-examined – to hear more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour…