Council Affairs: Class is in session

Limerick County Council Offices in Dooradoyle.

Will the wonders ever cease? Only it looks like our new directly-elected Mayor John Moran is going to make our local councillors work for a living.

Outlining his hopes and dreams for the mayoral programme, Mayor Moran has invited councillors and the public to engage with him, sooner than later, to get things in motion.

At the Metropolitan District’s recent AGM, it was evident that the former Finance Department general secretary is not a man to sit on his laurels. He’s clearly a doer and not a talker.

Barely in Merchant’s Quay a wet and wild weekend and he already had the poor staff down in City Hall working through the knees, scrubbing and cleaning to get the place shipshape for the tourist season.

And once he had the freshness back in the corridors of power, the next order of business was to move things up a gear in the often languorous council chambers.

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It was wakey-wakey time for our local representatives last Friday, who were horrified to be getting some schoolwork for the summer holidays from the zestful new head honcho.

Not only were they going to be made clean their rooms and eat their veg, Moran wanted them jumping to his tune and coming to him pronto with their views on his ambitious mayoral plan.

Firing on all cylinders, he told council members that he wanted to do things very differently from the off.

The people’s mayor even wants to involve his loyal subjects into his plans and visions for the future very early on in the process. This in itself seemed novel, as often the humble peasants are the very last to know anything – well, other than the councillors themselves, obviously!

The Mayor wasted no time moving things along and told councillors that he was hoping to have feedback from them by this week’s full local authority meeting.

That way, he explained, he would be able to reflect on their views as well as sharing with them the underlying principles that he wants to see form part of his mayoral programme.

Top pupil at the Metropolitan AGM, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon (FF), who was just voted Cathaoirleach by his pals in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Aontú, and the one and only Frankie Daly, was not too enamoured.

Didn’t O’Hanlon have plans of skinning orchards and kicking ball with Fergus Kilcoyne and Joe Pond for the summer holidays.

“You are putting us under pressure already during our holiday time and during our work schedule,” he jested nervously.

Still, best to keep in the good books, so I am sure Moran can expect 40 mouth-watering apples to be placed on the top table before every local authority meeting going forward.

” I’m sure we’d all be delighted to work with you and give you our full cooperation that you deserve as mayor,” O’Hanlon added.

That’s the spirit!

Let’s just hope now that this wasn’t a case of first day of school fashion show from Mayor Moran, and a pyjama party for the rest of the school year. I get the impression though, that any dossers in City Hall are about to be found out.