LABOUR’S Cllr Tom Shortt was ruled out of order when he appealed to Limerick City Council not to evict a young man from his house at Bishop Street.
An online petition to keep Patrick Collopy, 26, in his home has to date attracted over 2,000 signatures. Mr Collopy said he had moved into the house, with the full knowledge of City Hall, to care for his terminally ill mother in 2012 and remained there after her passing in April 2013. Mr Collopy said he had never been in any trouble with the law and had never fallen into rent arrears but the council was ordering him to vacate the property under the two-year tenancy rule.
Cllr Shortt, who is chairman of the housing committee, attempted to raise the matter at this Monday’s meeting of Limerick City Council.
He urged the director of housing and the city manager “not to evict this young man Patrick Collopy from his house on Bishop Street”.
When deputy mayor Cllr Orla McLoughlin, in the chair, warned Cllr Shortt he was out of order, he persisted in “making the simple point that this young man should be shown every consideration”.
“We should not be in the business of making people homeless. This is a very decent young man and he has the widespread support of people of his generation,” Cllr Shortt declared.
Amid loud calls from fellow members for Cllr Shortt to resume his seat, Cllr Kevin Kiely, Fine Gael, accused his Labour counterpart of “seeking cheap publicity”.
“All I wanted was 20 seconds of your time,” Cllr Shortt said.
“You’ll have plenty of time after this council term comes to an end,” replied Cllr Kiely.
In relation to Mr Collopy, Limerick City Council this week said it did not comment on individual cases.
Mr Collopy himself said he was willing to go to court over the matter.