Political row in Limerick over plum €6,000 a year job


by Alan Jacques

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Cllr Joe Leddin
Cllr Joe Leddin

LABOUR councillor Joe Leddin has called on Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan to resign his position as chairman of the Council’s Transportation Committee after a pact between the two parties came unstuck over the plum €6,000-a-year role.

A political row has erupted with Cllr Quinlivan refusing to hand over the reins of the chairmanship to Labour’s Frankie Daly after he sided with Fianna Fail last year for a position with Paul Partnership without Sinn Fein’s prior knowledge. Cllr Daly was due to take over from Cllr Quinlivan as Transportation Committee chairman last month.

Labour Party leader on Limerick City and County Council, Joe Leddin said he is disappointed by Cllr Quinlivan’s decision to retain the chairmanship.

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“To state that the Labour Party broke the agreement is pure folly. I have to ask why did Cllr Quinlivan wait 12 months to state the agreement was broken?” Leddin asked.

“I met Cllr Quinlivan only last month to advise that the Labour Party would be nominating a candidate for the chairmanship of the Transportation Committee for the next 12 months.”

According to Cllr Leddin, the original agreement provided for Sinn Fein to hold the chairmanship for three years and the Labour Party for two years over the lifetime of the five year Council term on a rotation basis.

Cllr Maurice Quinlivan
Cllr Maurice Quinlivan

“The reality is that despite my phone calls, and emails to Cllr Quinlivan to meet and discuss this issue he has decided to retain the salaried position as chairman. Whatever disagreement Cllr Quinlivan has with his northside colleague Cllr Daly should not impact on the agreement we made last year as respective party leaders.

If Cllr Quinlivan no longer wishes to honour the agreement he made with the Labour Party that facilitated his appointment as chairman then he should do the honourable thing and resign and let the Council decide who should chair the Transportation Committee.”

Cllr Quinlivan deemed Cllr Leddin’s comments as “laughable”.

“He is asking me to resign so that he can get the job for himself — which tells you all you need to know about the priorities of the Labour Party on this council. Poor Joe is so busy throwing his toys out of the pram  that he must have forgotten that it was his party, Labour, that broke the technical arrangement that was made with our party,” the local Sinn Fein leader claimed.

“That arrangement was agreed in order to ensure some degree of fairness with regard to distribution of positions but it was broken almost as soon as it began by Cllr Leddin’s colleague Frankie Daly. Perhaps Joe should have a chat with Frankie — that’s if they’re still talking to each other. My main project and aim is to deliver for the people of Limerick and I am not going to be distracted from that.”