Council Affairs: March of the pothole pointers

Limerick County Council Offices in Dooradoyle.

PHOTOS of councillors and other Local Election hopefuls standing sheepishly around potholes and lampposts are finally starting to appear like the first winter flakes of snow.

No one has been brave enough to take hand out of pocket and actually point at said potholes and lampposts yet, but you can see the itch is there.

In fairness, we will likely have to wait for the Christmas festivities to be out of the way for the real hootenanny to kick off. I can hardly wait, I can almost smell the pandering in the air.

I love that time of year when posters of fattened Fine Gael men who never missed a meal in their lives start to peer down at me from the city streets with those knowing looks. Not to mention the Fianna Fáil bowsies.

Let them eat scones

Staring down at us like they are the cats pyjamas, with hair groomed and cheeks freshly powdered by mammy, looking at you like butter wouldn’t melt. And sure once they’re elected it’s only the scones in Merchant’s Quay they will be spreading it on as thick.

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Sure look, let them eat cake, and as granny used to say. Or scones in this instance.

And while we are still mourning the loss of Cllr Kevin Sheahan at the end of this term, it is nice to see some new blood with notions of whetting their appetites on the gravy train. Not that anyone could ever fill Kevin’s shoes – especially now at the dawn of a political correctness that throttles the air in Council chambers like a starched shirt collar.

Councillor Elisa O’Donovan, who has been very vocal in the past about her distaste of talking to the media, was in touch with the media to say that that she is hoping to have some Social Democrats company at the next sitting of Limerick City and County Council if things go their way.

At their launch for Local Elections 2024, two new names were announced as hopefuls to strengthen the Soc Dems grip in Limerick.

Donnah Vuma, it was revealed, will contest in City East in the upcoming locals. Vuma is a well-known figure locally, having been involved in many community groups and as a tireless activist and advocate for human rights.

“Living in Annacotty, I’ve experienced the warmth and support of this community, and I’m eager to give back,” said an energised Ms Vuma at the Sarsfield Street launch.

Running for the Soc Dems in City North is Caherdavin native Shane Hickey-O’Mara, the artistic director of County Limerick Youth Theatre who is currently working as a student psychotherapist as part of his final year of training with PCI College.

And, of course, leading the Limerick Social Democrats election wagon is Cllr Elisa O’Donovan, who will be seeking re-election in City West.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

“We are thrilled to introduce our team for the Local Elections. We share the same political values and ambition for Limerick, but bring a wide variety of experiences together. Our strength is our differences and we work brilliantly together as friends and colleagues,” said Cllr O’Donovan.

In other local political circles, it was a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

The Limerick Labour Party dream-team currently already keeping seats warm on the local authority are togging out once again.

Limerick’s second youngest councillor – his words not mine – Cllr Conor Sheehan will contest in 2024 alongside Cllr Elena Secas and Cllr Joe Leddin in their respective electoral areas of City North, East, and West.

The party also announced that it will be holding an additional convention after Christmas to select a candidate for the Directly Elected Mayor election.

Speaking after his selection, Cllr Sheehan said: “It has been a privilege to serve as Limerick’s second youngest councillor since 2019. I will be fighting for every single vote between now and June to ensure that we return a strong Labour team.”

God bless his youthful enthusiasm.

Cllr Elena Secas, as is tradition, also said that it has been a privilege to represent the people of Limerick City East for the past nine years.

“If re-elected next June, I will continue with the same commitment to champion local issues that matter to us, our families, and our communities,” she insisted.

Deep breaths Elena, you’ll be grand.

Cllr Joe Leddin, who is contesting both his sixth local elections and his ongoing campaign to find elixir of eternal youth (What’s your secret, Joe? It’s younger you’re looking) also has a pep in his step.

“I am delighted to be selected to contest my sixth local election and to continue in the long proud tradition of public service of the Leddin and Keyes family. Politics for me has always been about people, and the Labour Party and our councillors are always on the ground, not just at election time,” he said.

There you have it. Labour are not just for Christmas and nothing gets councillors pumping out press releases and statements quite like an election.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.