Limerick county councillor accused city counterparts of being ‘petty and jealous’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

COUNTY councillor Richard Butler has launched a stinging attack on two city councillors – and said he is not looking forward to being on the same council as them.

COUNTY councillor Richard Butler has launched a stinging attack on two city councillors – and said he is not looking forward to being on the same council as them.

In 2014, county councillors will join city councillors on the new merged authority.

But Cllr Butler is angry at Fianna Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon and Labour’s Tom Shortt after they criticised Finance Minister Michael Noonan in a council meeting last week.

In particular, the Fine Gael Dooradoyle councillor is upset at Cllr O’Hanlon’s “outlandish” comments, where he disagreed that a civic reception held in honour of Mr Noonan was well deserved.

Cllr O’Hanlon said: “He [Mr Noonan] is happy to have the Crescent thriving at our expense. It is no wonder the County Council gave him a civic reception.”

For his part, Cllr Shortt criticised Mr Noonan for not engaging with city members over the proposed year of culture in 2014.

But Cllr Butler said: “How dare they tell Limerick County Council what they should and should not do? We decide who we give civic receptions to, not them.”

A close neighbour and long-term campaigner for Mr Noonan, Cllr Butler also pointed out that in the 2009 local elections, Cllr Shortt received 824 first preference votes, and Cllr O’Hanlon got 841 votes.

“But Michael Noonan got 13,291 first preference votes [in last year’s general election]. It just goes to show the difference between these people and the Minister.”

Asked if he is looking forward to potentially serving with the pair on the same authority, he added: “If this is their attitude, no I am not looking forward to dealing with people who are so petty and jealous. I do not look forward to sitting with them in any shape or manner.”