Council Affairs: A change is gonna come

Limerick County Council Offices in Dooradoyle.

THERE you have it! The dust has settled on local elections 2024, a new council will sit for the first time this week, and I still feel totally discombobulated by our aversion to change.

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said that “progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.

With Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil each gaining 23 per cent of first-preference votes and securing more than 240 seats across the State’s 31 local authorities in last week’s elections, stagnation is very much the name of this nation’s game.

Locally, the two main government parties still hold 23 seats on Limerick City and County Council, so the next sitting of the local authority will be business as usual, with a few expensive little tweaks along the way – including an all-singing, all-dancing directly-elected mayor with a budget all his own.

Whether council meetings are soon to be shaken up by a clashing of swords between elected councillors and an elected mayor remains to be seen. What we can expect though, if Simon Harris’ election posters are an indicator, is “a new energy” from the blue shirts and their brethren.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Either way, a week on from polling day and John Moran is our first DEM. He hasn’t sold Limerick off to the highest bidder, despite the allegations of some, and this Friday our 40 councillors will sit in the Dooradoyle chamber together for the first time and break bread with their new ring leader.

I don’t know if I can keep up with it anymore lads. ‘Keep the recovery going’, you say. I’m not sure I can.

There’s a cave up in Tulla with my name on it, just crying out for a broken down old hack like me to come practice crystal healing until his juju is aligned with the cosmological cycle of universal love.

Maybe I just need a little lie down. But I am a trooper, so I shall soldier on. For now, at least.

Maybe our new directly-elected mayor will do what it says on his tin and deliver more for Limerick? Change is perpetual. Change is constant. Change is inevitable. And, with little changing in the formation of the council chamber, I hope change is forthcoming.

At times like this when I feel lost and broken, and a little unsure of what the future holds, I think of Kevin Costner’s wise words and feel my aura shine resolutely.

“If you build it, they will come”.

Arah, who am I fooling? A cave it is!