Mayor of Limerick defended over London trip

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Councillors rounded on Cian Prendiville over his questioning of Mayor Kevin Sheahan's trip to London
COUNCILLORS rounded on Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville after he questioned Mayor Kevin Sheahan’s trip to London to meet emigrants.

COUNCILLORS rounded on Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville after he questioned Mayor Kevin Sheahan’s trip to London to meet emigrants.

And moves are being made in a bid to ensure councillors do not have to disclose any trips to conferences ahead of time to protect their home and property.

Newly appointed mayor Kevin Sheahan told the meeting that he had been asked to get the approval of full council over an impending trip to London by Cllr Prendiville.

There was heavy criticism of the northside councillor for raising the trip, which will cost around €500.

Cllr Liam Galvin proposed that the council write to Local Government Minister Alan Kelly in order to stop the listing of trips at monthly council meeting. This was accepted.

“It is shambolic it has to be like this,” he commented.

There was severe criticism of the AAA councillor for bringing Mayor Sheahan’s trip to the agenda from councillors in the rural areas.

But metropolitan district councillors, although backing the mayor, were more reserved.

Cllr John Gilligan, Independent, said: “If you feel that you are doing the best for all of Limerick by going to London, then go.”

Sinn Fein’s northside councillor Mauirice Quinlivan said: “I lived in London for nine years, and I know how important it is for emigrants to retain a sense of home.”

Cllr Joe Crowley, Fianna Fail, said: “The fact we are discussing this at all is ludicrous.” His party colleague Kieran O’Hanlon agreed: “It is quite ridiculous we are in here discussing the measly sum of €400. If the AAA are so upset, they should give up their own allowances.”

Séighin Ó Ceallaigh, Sinn Fein, who also lived abroad, said a visit from the mayor would have meant a lot to him.

Cllr Prendiville said: “All I questioned is whether it was necessary for a five day trip to be made for a one night dinner.”

“I have a right to know, especially when you are spending money on flights and accommodation, the details and purpose of the trip,” he concluded.