Limerick’s mayor wants to broadcast council meetings online

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

DEPUTY Mayor Maria Byrne has supported Mayor Gerry McLoughlin’s call for council meetings to be streamed online.

DEPUTY Mayor Maria Byrne has supported Mayor Gerry McLoughlin’s call for council meetings to be streamed online.

Cllr Gerry McLoughlin wants to see all city and county council meetings streamed online, a call backed up in the council chamber by his daughter, Cllr Orla McLoughlin.

He says members of the public could then see their elected representatives at work while it would also allow councillors on both sides to gain a better understanding of each other ahead of their amalgamation in 2014.

The Mayor says that because the technology is available, it is time it is put to good use.

“I think Limerick is an evolving city, a progressive city. It would do a lot of good to see if the City Council could see how the County Council works and vice versa. We could keep an eye on each other so when we do come together, we will all be singing off the same hymn sheet. I think we should embrace technology. Everybody then would have a better insight as to how this city is running, have more of an input, and maybe take more of an interest in politics,” he said.

He rejected the idea that if cameras were in place, councillors would play to them.

He said: “I think a very vibrant discussion goes on in the Chamber most of the time. I think it is important the public be part of it. I would have no objection to cameras going into the chamber.

Cllr Byrne said it is time Limerick moved with the times.

“In other countries, you can see the local council meetings on the radio, television or Internet. It is something which will be looked at in time. We have to move in the modern era,” she explained.

The southside councillor also said the presence of cameras would not change the way people act - because the meetings are open to the public anyway. “I cannot see there would be any change. Some people are interested in looking into find out what is going on. It would be a case of keeping the public informed.”