MAYOR Gerry McLoughlin has been asked to justify himself to councillors, furious at his actions in using his office to call for the removal of two directors in St Maryâ€™s.
This week, the Limerick Leader revealed that directors at the St Maryâ€™s Adult Education Centre had sought legal advice over a letter from Mayor McLoughlin in which he calls for the resignation of two directors, and a complete review of the set-up.
Mayor McLoughlin says the centre - funded by FAS among other bodies - is not working to its full potential, and alleged that the annual meetings are not open to the public, saying â€œthis is surely not a healthy position for an organisation which purports to be a community organisationâ€.
It is understood that while councillors appreciate Cllr McLoughlin is entitled to an opinion on the matter, they are upset that he has used the mayoral office in which to deliver his criticism.
The letter was sent to the Island Road centre on paper headed â€˜Mayor of Limerickâ€™.
One councillor â€“ who did not wish to be identified â€“ said this makes it appear that as chairman of the City Council, Mayor McLoughlin is representing all of them.
â€œThe mayor has sent out correspondence on behalf of all the council. He has to clarify what he has sent out to all the councillors,â€ the member said.
A number of other councillors have also privately expressed concern over his letter.
â€œThe mayor speaks on behalf of the council.As mayor, if he sent out a letter which would lead to legal action, questioning the character of people on the board, then he has no right,â€ the councillor added, â€œIf I want to do it [raise concerns] as an individual, iâ€™d send it myself. You do not send it out on behalf of the city.â€
The City VEC is also a key funder of the St Maryâ€™s Adult Education Centre, and the mayorâ€™s comments will also be raised with this body.
In his letter, the mayor said two directors, who is seeking to have removed, â€œhave failed in their duty to progress programmes such as the LTEMF (a Labour activation fund) programme and the partnership programme between St Maryâ€™s Adult Education Centre and Limerick City Council.â€
Mayor McLoughlin also requested he be given a place on the board, as well as listing a number of other â€œgrave concernsâ€ he had with the set up in St Maryâ€™s.
Tony Ryan, chairman of the adult education centre, confirmed the mayorâ€™s communication was being examined by solicitors - but any â€œsubstantialâ€ issues raised had been addressed.