QUESTIONS were asked at City Hall this week over what action Limerick City and County Council have taken to recover a €6,000 mayoral chain stolen from the glove box of a councillor’s car last December.
Independent councillor Frankie Daly, who was deputising for Metropolitan Mayor Sean Lynch (FF), left the chain in his car overnight outside his home at the Irish Estates in Corbally. The following morning the gold-and-silver insignia had been stolen from the car along with a number of other items including Christmas presents and his son’s passport.
The chain, valued at €6,000, also had significant historic value as it marked the amalgamation of Limerick City and County Councils in 2014. The matter remains under investigation by Gardaí at Mayorstone.
A Garda spokesman told the Limerick Post this week: “There are no developments to report at this time.”
Sinn Fein councillor John Costelloe remains dissatisfied with the answers councillors have received regarding the following of protocol when the item was withdrawn from council buildings. He now wants the council to reveal whether the historic symbol was insured and if the correct protocols were followed.
“We need answers, otherwise as the old song by Aretha Franklin goes, our council are being made look like a Chain of Fools,” the City North representative declared.
“We have to fight, cajole and plead for the installation of safety equipment such as pedestrian crossings. We face resistance over the €10,000 cost of installing such necessities yet the council seem to not be bothered on the recovery of the €6,000 chain of office.”
He believes the loss of mayoral chain and the “blanket of silence” that has surrounded this matter casts Limerick City and County Council in a very bad light.
“We need clarity on what steps the councillor and the council more generally are taking to recompense the city purse following this matter,” he added.
Deputy Mayor Vivienne Crowley said that on the rare occasion that she has been unable to deputise for the mayor, “then I presume the Office of the Mayor finds a suitable replacement”.
“I either accept or decline invites but have never had any further involvement in selecting or nominating a replacement. I am not aware what function Cllr Daly borrowed the chain for, as I wouldn’t have been consulted on the matter.
“To be perfectly clear, at no point have I asked Cllr Daly to deputise for me, nor has he ever contacted me to request the use of the chain. To the best of my knowledge, any such requests are always handled by the Mayor’s Office,” the Fianna Fail councillor commented.
A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council said: “The chain in question, which is used by councillors who are deputising for the Mayor, is valued at around €6,000 and was insured. The details about the incident are the subject of a Garda investigation.
“As per council regulations, the Mayor or Deputy Mayor can deputise another councillor to be Deputy Mayor and wear the chain at official functions. Cllr Frankie Daly was in possession of the chain as he was deputising for the Mayor at an official function in the days prior to the incident. In light of the incident, Limerick City and County Council has started a review of the policy in relation to the chains of office.”
There was no response from Cllr Daly at the time of going to print.
by Alan Jacques