Call made on mayor of Limerick to explain actions

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Call made on mayor of Limerick to explain actions
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 Mary’s.

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 Mary’s.

This week, the Limerick Leader revealed that directors at the St Mary’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 “this is surely not a healthy position for an organisation which purports to be a community organisation”.

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 ‘Mayor of Limerick’.

One councillor – who did not wish to be identified – said this makes it appear that as chairman of the City Council, Mayor McLoughlin is representing all of them.

“The mayor has sent out correspondence on behalf of all the council. He has to clarify what he has sent out to all the councillors,” the member said.

A number of other councillors have also privately expressed concern over his letter.

“The 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,” the councillor added, “If I want to do it [raise concerns] as an individual, i’d send it myself. You do not send it out on behalf of the city.”

The City VEC is also a key funder of the St Mary’s Adult Education Centre, and the mayor’s comments will also be raised with this body.

In his letter, the mayor said two directors, who is seeking to have removed, “have failed in their duty to progress programmes such as the LTEMF (a Labour activation fund) programme and the partnership programme between St Mary’s Adult Education Centre and Limerick City Council.”

Mayor McLoughlin also requested he be given a place on the board, as well as listing a number of other “grave concerns” he had with the set up in St Mary’s.

Tony Ryan, chairman of the adult education centre, confirmed the mayor’s communication was being examined by solicitors - but any “substantial” issues raised had been addressed.