A Fine Gael member of Cork County Council has resigned as chairman of the county's Joint Policing Committee, after admitting he is facing a drink-driving charge.

Councillor Michael Hegarty has also resigned his position as leader of Fine Gael on the council.

It is understood he intends to continue as a Fine Gael councillor.

Cllr Hegarty confirmed to RTÉ News last night that he is facing a drink-driving charge relating to a traffic incident, which is understood to have occurred near his home last month.

He said he did not feel it would be proper to remain as leader of Fine Gael on the council, or as chairman or member of the Joint Policing Committee, while the charge was pending.

Mr Hegarty, from Ladysbridge in east Cork, has been a Fine Gael member of Cork County Council for the past 27 years.

He topped the poll in the Midleton electoral area in the last local elections in 2009.

Mr Hegarty has been the leader of Fine Gael on Cork County Council for the past five years.

Fine Gael is the biggest party on the council, holding 22 of the 48 seats.