Council Affairs: Silence is golden

Limerick County Council Offices in Dooradoyle.

SILENCE, it is said, is argument carried out by other means.

Well, if that’s the case, there must be a right auld barney going on altogether over Limerick’s imminent Directly Elected Mayor, as there hasn’t been a peep out of anyone about it since last month when Limerick Fine Gael TD and Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Kieran O’Donnell, announced funding of €4.327m in 2024 to support the establishment of the Office and to provide for a Mayoral Budget to support the Directly Elected Mayor in their role, and the delivery of their mayoral programme.


That’s an awful lot of spare change for a puppet on someone else’s string!

Budget 2024, we were also informed, also provided for €300,000 in respect of a public awareness campaign to be carried out well in advance of the Limerick Directly Elected Mayoral election.

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Maybe that’s why they are all so quiet?

In all seriousness, though, with the election to be held on the same date as the Local and European Elections in 2024, which will be held between June 6 and 9, isn’t it time then they got the show on the road?

I mean, the Local Elections are only seven months away so someone would want to go light a fire under Minister for Local Government Darragh O’Brien and his Limerick sidekick Kieran O’Donnell to get the Treaty City’s answer to The Hunger Games up and bloody running.

In fairness, we all want to see John Moran and Elisa O’Donovan tear strips off each other before the gig ultimately goes to RTE Guide favourites Celia Holman Lee, Pat Shortt or Karl Spain.

Wise men, rightly, stay schtum when they are in doubt. Which of course beggars the question — have the wheels already come off the multi-million euro mayoral donkey cart?

It certainly looks like it, but then again, nothing happens quickly in the corridors of power. We all know that the fastest person in  government buildings is the Just Eat delivery man bringing scones and cucumber sandwiches aplenty.

But come on will ye, get a move on!

If ye are going to be pilfering €4.3m from the taxpayers’ pockets we might as well be getting some kind of entertainment for it.

Surely Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have at this stage courted their fair share of former hurling greats and rugby jocks with the right skillset to grasp the purse strings at Limerick City and County Council.

Shur, look what’s the worst that could happen?  Some of the eejits down in City Hall don’t even know where they’ve left the mayoral chain half the time anyway!

The O’Connell Street Revitalisation Project or Limerick City of Culture 2014 are sure to pale in comparison to the spills and thrills of DEM 2024. We won’t have seen anything as lively as it around these parts since the Siege of Limerick back in 1691. Oh, the drama, intrigue, backstabbing and bloodsport of it all. I am as giddy as a child at Christmas in anticipation.

Kieran O’Donnell says he is currently progressing the necessary legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas with a view to enactment by the end of the year, with the first Mayoral election in Limerick to be held in June 2024.

Come on Kieran, get the feckin’ skates on!

It has all been far too quiet down in City Hall of late. We are well overdue a hissy fit.

Speaking of hissy fits, aren’t we still only getting over the Mariah Carey-like outburst from Limerick’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Dan McSweeney, over his recent concerns on Active Travel processes within the local authority.

Concerns, he was severely criticised by Council members for at October’s Metropolitan District meeting, after storming out of the Dooradoyle chamber before an official could respond to his questions.

Prima donnas the lot of them!

Cllr McSweeney took aim at Active Travel’s Executive Engineer Richard Gorey as councillors were asked to consider a Part 8 for the Corbally Road Safe Routes to School scheme. The Deputy Mayor was not impressed that all 21 members of the Metropolitan District had not been given a presentation on the proposed plans.

Very fussy they are!

“Richard, this is news to me,” Cllr McSweeney grumbled.

“You’ve asked for me to come in here this morning and give due consideration to a report I got last Wednesday. I am not opposing the scheme but, by God, ye need to have a chat with yourselves.”

Mortified, I was!

Beyonce would have been proud of young Dan.

Oh, I do love an auld outburst from our groaning baby-kissers at County Hall!

Let us be having ye.

Bring on DEM 2024!