Mayor on the attack over Limerick jobs centre

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Mayor on the attack over Limerick jobs centre
LAWYERS have been called in after Mayor of Limerick Cllr Gerry McLoughlin sought the removal of two directors at the St Mary’s Community Adult Education Centre in the city.

LAWYERS have been called in after Mayor of Limerick Cllr Gerry McLoughlin sought the removal of two directors at the St Mary’s Community Adult Education Centre in the city.

The mayor is an area representative for St Mary’s parish. In a letter to the board members - on City Council headed paper - he urged the resignation of two directors at the Island Road centre, and a complete restructuring of the set-up.

The St Mary’s Adult Education Centre exists to provide education, and recreational activities to the local population. It pays out over €250,000 a year to to 17 staff members, with the funding coming from a mix of public sources, including FAS, the City VEC and City Council.

Mayor McLoughlin said the centre is not working to its full potential and alleged that the annual meetings are not open to the public, and declared that this is “surely not a healthy position for an organisation which purports to be a community organisation”.

In a brief comment, Tony Ryan, chairman of the adult education centre, confirmed the mayor’s comments were being examined by solicitors. He said that the issue was now going down the legal route.

He added any “substantial” issues raised in the mayor’s letter are being dealt with.

The letter - seen by the Limerick Leader - states that the directors 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.”

The mayor wrote in the letter: “The dogs on the street know that the Adult Education centre is no longer working to its full potential.”

Mayor McLoughlin also requested be be allowed onto the board.

“There are a number of other people from the community who have requested to become members of the company and they have been left waiting weeks for correspondence,” the letter continued.

In the stinging communication, the mayor also lists 14 “grave concerns” surrounding the education centre.

He also stated in the letter that he is happy to hold public meetings to outline his concerns, something he told the Limerick Leader that he has already delivered on.

“The media and your funders would be interested to hear what has been allowed to happen. May I remind you that you operate out of public funds and are accountable to your community and the state at large for your actions,” he said.

When contacted yesterday, Mayor McLoughlin said he stood over the contents of the letter but declined to comment further.