Bundoran Council’s motives for taking planning case questioned

A woman accused of breaching planning regulations with a sign over her house accusing government ministers of job-fixing and corruption has claimedthere were four arson attacks on her family home.

Patricia McCafferty claimed the sign high on a cherry-picker was a legitimate political protest – not an advertisement – and she and her brother Paul were being intimidated and victimised.

She claimed they were being victimised in their own town of Bundoran, Co. Donegal, because of planning issues they had raised.

Bundoran Town Council prosecuted Ms McCafferty and her brother of Rockingham House, Main St., Bundoran, for failing to act in accordance with an enforcement notice served under planning regulations last year.

Judge Mary Devins viewed pictures of a hoarding accusing ministers of job-fixing and corruption.

She was told the hoarding at the top of a cherry-picker was still there on Monday but was removed later this week

The court heard that prior to a 2002 election there was a pro-Fianna Fail hoarding atop the cherry-picker urging support for Mary Coughlan and Pat the Cope Gallagher.

Then in 2007, when political issues were being raised, the protest hoarding went up.     Ms McCafferty, 36, who was sacked by Bundoran town council as its traffic warden in 2007, said at Ballyshannon District Court that she believed because of the stance taken by her in recent years the prosecution against her was “all political.”

The arson attacks in 2008 and 2009 were being investigated by gardai.

Judge Devins dismissed the Bundoran prosecution.

She said she was uneasy as to the reasons for the motivations behind the prosecution and she found it  fundamentally flawed