AS councillors prepare to discuss the renaming of the Shannon Bridge, Cllr Pat Kennedy says any action they take could be seen as them acting “unlawfully”.
Six councillors have ordered a special meeting of the local authority in a bid to halt plans to rename the bridge after John F Kennedy.
However, councillor Kennedy - one of seven members who voted in favour of the proposal - says those trying to block the scheme are doing so for “petty politics and for personal animosity”.
“I am putting the city first. I believe we should say to ourselves: ask not what our city can do for us, ask what we can do for our city,” he said.
He added that legally, members should stick to the original renaming vote of 7-6.
“Under Order 41, that decision is conclusive and final, and I think the City Council should not be acting unlawfully,” he told Live95fm. He believes public opinion is on his side.
“I am a democrat, and the City Council decided to consult the public. There were about 108 submissions made, 71% of them supported the renaming of the bridge after John F Kennedy. Twenty two per cent were negative, and 7% did not know what they wanted,” he said.
He said the proposal has “considerable merit” for tourism in the city, and pointed out the linking of a newly renamed JFK bridge would be appropriate as it would link to the Condell Road. It was Frances Condell who was mayor when JFK made his only visit to Limerick.
But Cllr Diarmuid Scully said: “The public’s desire is not have the Shannon Bridge renamed [after JFK].”
“I am yet to come across a member of the public who thinks this is a good idea,” he added.
The meeting takes place this evening - Friday - at 5pm.