Bernadette Hurley from Mulgrave Street signs a book of condolences for Terry Wogan at the council’s offices in the city Picture: Adrian Butler
A SPECIAL meeting of Limerick City and County Council will examine ways of paying a permanent tribute to Terry Wogan in his native city, Mayor of Limerick Cllr Liam Galvin has confirmed.
The meeting, slated for 9.30am on Friday, will pass a vote of sympathy to the iconic broadcaster’s family, who died on Sunday after a short battle with cancer. Cllr Galvin also said that he was in favour of the erection of a statue honouring Sir Terry.
“It is certainly something that I won’t rule out - and that will be for the council to decide. I think there should be, by the way,” he said, when the question of the erection of a statue was put to him by the Limerick Leader.
“The special meeting will maybe decide on that - we will bring it to the party leaders and decide what we will do from there on. But certainly, I wouldn’t be ruling that out.”
The Mayor was speaking at the opening of a book of condolences at City Hall on Monday morning, intended to pay tribute to Mr Wogan, and allow the people of his native city to do so in turn. First in the queue to sign the book was 78 year old Jim McAllister, who knew the broadcaster “when we were younger”. The Ballinacurra Weston man said the broadcasting luminary was “a very nice man”.
“I didn’t hear (about his death) until this morning when I heard the news, and I got a shock to be quite honest. Because he was a wonderful person, he was very good,” said Mr McAllister.
Council officials, led by Mayor Galvin, gathered to open the book at City Hall, with a second book also open at County Hall in Dooradoyle and on the council’s website, all of which will remain so for the next two weeks.
Mayor Galvin said Mr Wogan “meant a lot to the people of Limerick and my phone didn’t stop ringing yesterday - people asking what we were going to do to mark his death.
“So I decided yesterday that we would open the book of condolences this morning and we have also called a special meeting of the council for 9.30am on Friday morning to pass a vote of sympathy for the Wogan family,” he explained.
“Certainly he was a massive asset to the city and I say that in a very positive way, because he spoke of Limerick very positively. He wanted Limerick, not alone to be best city in Ireland, but the best in Europe. I do feel that today, you can see already the way people are coming and going, the respect that that man was held in.”
Mayor Galvin also indicated that he would be going to any funeral service, whether it is held in the UK or closer to home.
“I think the people of Limerick need to be represented at that funeral, both by management and myself. I am not sure of the arrangements yet, but I intend to go it, if circumstances allow me,” he said.
Friends Mary Duffy and Mary Barrett, from Westbury, dropped into City Hall to sign the book in memory of the iconic broadcaster.
Asked why she had attended the event, Ms Barrett said: “Because he is from Limerick first of all and he is one of our own. I always had time for him, he was always good character, good personality - he just done a lot of good for Limerick I think as well, you know. He put Limerick on the map.”
Labour councillor Joe Leddin, who was mayor when Mr Wogan received the freedom of the city in 2007, said he would like to see an “ecumenical service” so that the “people of Limerick would like as an opportunity to come in and pay homage to the man that was Terry Wogan”.
With regard to a permanent memorial, he said: “Well, what we will do is discuss it with the mayor, call a meeting of the protocol council and look at maybe a more permanent recognition of the man that he was. Certainly, it should be considered, but I wouldn’t like to launch into any particular issue to do with a bridge or a building today, there will be plenty of time for that.
“But based on the contribution that he made, based on his love and appreciation of the city, yes I do think we should look at something.”