We are publishing this complaint and outcome of the enquiry so that people can draw their own conclusions.
I have contacted people quoted in the article but they have not responded. I am therefore asking you, as joint publisher of this material to take action. As I’m sure you’re aware, under UK law, not only the authors of defamatory content can be held liable for defamation, but also “secondary publishers” who store or disseminate information, such as website hosts or operators of website forums. Your terms of business state you will not support “engaging in harassment, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages, either with email or website content.” I find this content to be offensive and I want it removed.
CLLR ADRIAN MAHONEY
Cllr Mahoney did contact Cllrs Ritchie and Turner and, once again, we have published the text of his email to the other Bo’ness Councillors.
Dear Sandy and Ann
I am quite saddened, but not surprised, at the personal abuse directed at me on the SNP website this week.
Neither of you took the time or trouble to check your facts or even to speak to me.
If I’ve got “some explaining to do”, it would be nice if someone would ask me.
Sadly, neither of you have. Nor has the individual who talks about me at a meeting, but can’t ask me in person. Gosh, he’s brave!
I was particularly troubled by the libelous comment from Cllr Turner, published on your website: “Cllr Mahoney has so little commitment to representing the people of Bo’ness in general and the most vulnerable of the town in particular.”
My mother was severely disabled and I cared for her over many years. I deeply care about the most vulnerable and services in my area.
I will treat these comments with the contempt they deserve.
I will remind you of Nicola Sturgeon’s comments on cyber abuse: “Does our cause no good to hurl abuse (& it’s wrong)”.
Cllr Adrian Mahoney
The outcome and conclusions are contained in the email sent to Cllr Mahoney.
“Dear Cllr Mahoney
I refer to your recent email and I write to advise you of the outcome of your complaint as follows.
On investigating the complaint lodged by you the following facts were confirmed either by submission or public record.
On 14 March there was an item of importance to the people of Bo’ ness regarding the future of the town’s one stop shop on the agenda of the Falkirk Council Executive Committee.
You did not attend the meeting and no reason advanced from the chair or the floor of the meeting when apologies are recorded..
No reason has been given for the failure to attend when the issue was debated during the subsequent meeting or until now.
Cllr Mahoney did attend an internal training session 90 minutes after the Executive Committee debate at the same venue.
During the Executive Committee meeting an enquiry was made by an SNP member, Cllr David Alexander, who said, “it would have been useful to have had a Bo’ ness member present, I hope Cllr Mahoney is not ill?” To which there was no reply from any member of the Executive.
Without a reason for non attendance others are perfectly at liberty to draw there own conclusions, particularly given the local content of the subject matter.
During our investigation of your complaint we have discovered several speeches from you criticising SNP members for not attending some committee meetings during the period when the opposition were protesting at the structures that over represent the Administration and under represent the opposition.
Councillor Mahoney is a qualified journalist having previously been the Chief Reporter with the Falkirk Herald. He is therefore well aware of what constitutes defamation as opposed to criticism of non attendance at a meeting when there is a contentious issue on the agenda and when no reason for not attending has been forthcoming.
There are countless precedents to back up the bullet point above, not least Cllr Mahoney’s attacks on opposition members. The onus is on Cllr Mahoney to explain to the Bo’ ness public why he didn’t attend the meeting, a basic example of holding a local elected politician to account.
There is no case to answer on the part of the SNP members who were right to call into question Cllr Mahoney’s commitment based on the experiences of 14 March and afterwards.