Council Affairs: Stateside jaunts worth every penny

Limerick County Council Offices in Dooradoyle.

BEGORRAH aren’t our local councillors a gas bunch altogether? Arrah, only for them there wouldn’t be a pint of the green stuff drank across the pond on St Patrick’s Day at all at all.

In fairness though, someone has to go over and rub shoulders with the yanks, wine and dine them, impress them with our wily ways, and make sure those American dollars keep coming back to the Emerald Isle.

Shur, wouldn’t we be only lost without them!

And a devoted lot they are in City Hall. Fair play to them. They can’t wait for the off. And they will have mighty cráic altogether. I mean, there’s more to a councillor’s job than eating scones and waxing lyrical about potholes, you know!

Jaysus, shur remember your man? That fella that was Mayor of Limerick way back donkey’s years ago. Didn’t he go off to China for St Patrick’s Day? Taught them everything he knows he did. And there wouldn’t be a spice bag to be got in the Mid West only for him.

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Fair play to you, Jim. I have always been partial to an auld king prawn fried rice after a skinful of pints.

These junkets are fierce important altogether, I tell you.

Be jabbers, I know what you are thinking, I do. You think it is no more than a piss up on the taxpayer’s farthing. Is it codding me, you are?

Our councillors are a fine upstanding lot, as pure and unpolluted as the lovely River Deel. You couldn’t be more wrong.

It’s far from dossing on these all expenses paid trips to America they are. It’s not all floozies and jacuzzis, not at all.

Anyway aren’t they better off? I mean the parade is shite here with its fire engines and tractors. You can see them any day. Pure gammy it is.

And it’ll be lashing anyway.

The cost, will, of course, come out of our purse, but going with hands out to the yanks is part of our culture almost.

No, feck the expense. They deserve a break. They are shattered, the poor craturs.

Our councillors work very hard and God knows they don’t get away often enough in the course of carrying out their duties as some other piss-pot politicians.

Their recent trip to Holland, to look at cycle lanes, well that was very important indeed. How else will we get things right if we aren’t copying everyone else? (My favourite Cranberries album that.)

These foreign trips are very beneficial indeed, trust me.

Limerick’s Mayor Francis Foley and his council counterparts will be flat out during the St Patrick’s Day Festival this year.

At a mere €3,000 per councillor, Mayor Foley and the gang will be heading off to the Big Apple to attend the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in New York. In fairness, they really couldn’t hold it without them.

The trip is considered by Limerick City and County Council as an ideal opportunity to develop and foster links for Limerick during the St Patrick’s Day period at a variety of events in the Big Apple.

“It is hoped that the creation of further links would build on the current high exposure that Limerick has been receiving and lead to additional benefits for Limerick in the areas of tourism, culture, community, and economic development,” Council senior executive officer Laura Flannery explained.

Pull the other one Laura, there’s shamrocks on it!

“There will be a significant gathering of business and community leaders in New York around this time and it is hoped to build on the linkages already developed across a wide variety of agencies to promote Limerick as an ideal location for development and investment going forward.”

If it sounds like a piss up, looks like a piss up, and smells like a piss up, it’s a piss up Laura.

But isn’t that the best time to separate the yank from their dollar, when they’re a few sheets to the wind?

Oh they are cute alright!

An invitation has also been received by Limerick City and County Council for the Mayor and co to attend the Annual Queens County St Patrick’s Day Parade at Rockaway Beach on March 4. This is New York state’s second largest St Patrick’s Day Parade and gains significant exposure.

The trip to Queens County is estimated to cost a further €2,200 per councillor.

Peanuts when you consider the friendships that will be made over the course of the sesh. Penpals for life. You can’t put a price on that.

The local authority also plans to send council members to Savannah, Georgia, to attend the Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17, again at an estimated cost of €3,000 per councillor.

Money well spent if you ask me.

They had such good cráic last year, it would be rude not to go back. Clearly, bless us and save us, no one got a bad dose from the crab cakes.

Look, I wouldn’t begrudge them. They are only looking out for our best interests. Fair play!

I tip my hat to them. I mean, we would be nothing, nothing at all, if it weren’t for the yanks.

Safe travels councillors and may the road rise with ye!