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South Dublin County Councillor William Priestley

South Dublin County Councillor William Priestley

South Dublin County Councillor William Priestley

A poll-topping Green Party councillor has resigned his seat citing poor pay and conditions.

South Dublin County Councillor William Priestley said it is not feasible to expect council members to make significant spending decisions while paying them €17,000 a year plus expenses.

Mr Priestley said he resigned his seat and quit the Green Party after he was offered a civil servant role in An Garda Síochána.

Budget

"It is €17,000 a year and I think nearly everybody has another job, which is self-defeating in a sense that being on the council is something in addition to your main focus and the result of that is people are burning the candle at both ends," he told the Herald.

"If you look at south county Dublin, the budget is something like €250bn and councillors are trusted with overseeing that and you're paying them €17,000 a year and asking them to do it on top of another job," he added.

Mr Priestley said it is "not a conspiracy" to suggest councillors pay is low to ensure local government is not strengthened.

"If you were being cynical you might suggest a good way of ensuring there is not strong local government is setting up the system the way it is at the moment," he said.

"If local representatives could really focus on getting things done it might cause trouble."