Heated council spat over Hyde Road bus services

Cllrs Catherine Slattery and Daniel Butler went head to head over familiarity with the Hyde Road.

COMMENTS from Fine Gael councillor Daniel Butler regarding the bus service on the Hyde Road galled Fianna Fáil councillor Catherine Slattery this week to such a degree that she deemed them “a load of tripe”.

Cllr Butler spoke at this Monday’s Metropolitan District meeting in support of a motion from party colleague Cllr Sarah Kiely.

Cllr Kiely proposed a motion calling on the Council to write to Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA) to ask why drivers are not stopping at marked bus stops and taking alternative routes on the city service.

Bus Éireann, she told the council executive, need to instruct their drivers to stop at all stops, and “not just the ones they feel they want to stop at”.

Cllr Kiely said that recently an elderly woman had been on a bus from Colbert Station and was told, when she tried to disembark on the Hyde Road, that her local stop wasn’t “official”.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

“I don’t know what’s going on here, but I think this Council needs to instruct Bus Éireann and make the NTA aware of what’s going on. This is unacceptable behaviour and should never happen,” Cllr Kiely insisted.

Seconding her motion, Cllr Daniel Butler said the people along Hyde Road deserve a decent bus service.

“Over the years they have been totally neglected and, from what I can see, discriminated against in terms of the bus service that is being provided to them,” Cllr Butler claimed.

“It can no longer continue. I use this bus service because it goes out to Raheen and Dooradoyle. Sometimes it will use the area and sometimes it won’t use the area. You don’t know if you are coming or going at times with the bus service.”

Cllrs Catherine Slattery and Daniel Butler went head to head over familiarity with the Hyde Road.

Fianna Fáil councillor Catherine Slattery was not at all impressed with the comments.

”I have heard that there was hassle with two bus stops in the area. That has been rectified now. I, myself, was onto Bus Éireann about these bus stops, as was Willie O’Dea.

“I will say that I think it is disgraceful that an elected member would be targeting bus drivers who are doing a fantastic job in our city, especially with all the works that are going on and they trying to navigate to different locations.

“To ask that they be reprimanded after the boss of Bus Éireann in Limerick saying things are okay. And for Cllr Butler to say that Hyde Road is being neglected and discriminated – what a load of tripe.

“I am from that area. My own mother uses the bus regularly. I use the bus regularly. I think that statement is just disgraceful and needs to be retracted,” Cllr Slattery hit out.

Asking for the comment to be retracted, Cllr Slattery said that “people in Hyde Road are not being discriminated against and they are not being neglected”.

“Look at the works Active Travel have done in the area, and to say that people in our community, where I am from, are being neglected and discriminated is just totally untrue.”

After a prolonged silence in the chamber, Cllr Talukder, chairing the meeting, asked Cllr Butler if he wanted to speak. But before he could respond, Cllr Slattery exploded once more.

”Ask Cllr Butler when was the last time he was in Hyde Road. I would like to know because I have never seen him there.”

”I used to work in the area, Cllr Slattery, but you wouldn’t know that, you have been gone from the area for so long,” Cllr Butler hit back.

”You don’t know anything about my personal life, so don’t even go there,” she hit back.

“Likewise. But I am delighted that you have finally now come out in support of the Active Travel measures on the back of the great work done by Cllr Kiely. It’s great to see it,” Cllr Butler responded.

“Excuse me Cllr Butler, I was the first person that asked for the Active Travel safety measures on Hyde Road,” Cllr Slattery interjected.

“I will hold up my hand and say that I am totally against cycle lanes on Hyde Road. That’s why I didn’t go to the presentation by the mayor.

“All Fine Gael councillors were there with their hands up trying to say they got all this work done. No, ye did not. I was the first on this as you well know.”