Call on Metro Mayor of Limerick to make full statement

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Questions: Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick Cllr Jerry O'Dea
THERE have been renewed calls for Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick Cllr Jerry O’Dea to make a full statement over his involvement in a road accident.

THERE have been renewed calls for Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick Cllr Jerry O’Dea to make a full statement over his involvement in a road accident.

The Fianna Fail councillor has faced calls to resign his position as metropolitan mayor after he was involved in a single vehicle car accident in December last.

This is now part of a garda investigation into the failure of local officers to follow up on it.

A report in the Sunday Times alleged Cllr O’Dea contacted gardai in advance of his election as mayor seeking clarification on whether he was likely to be charged with an offence.

Although he said he considers the matter closed, Labour councillor Joe Leddin wants more clarity from the leader of the metropolitan district.

So far, Cllr O’Dea has only released a short statement.

Cllr Leddin said: “I don’t think the current blackout and lack of commentary is feasible. It is not fair to the elected members, I certainly don’t think it is fair to the people of Limerick. I think there should be some kind of clarity brought to it. There are certainly questions to be answered as to why normal procedures do not appear to have been followed.”

The Leader understands a number - although certainly not all - of the county’s Fianna Fail councillors want Cllr O’Dea to step down as mayor.

There has, however, been support for the mayor within the party too.

Mayor O’Dea has indicated to Fianna Fail colleagues that he will attempt to stay in his post. However, one councillor said by doing this, he will be “bringing the office into disrepute”.

“The longer he stays on, the better it is for people who are not in Fianna Fail,” said the member, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Local TD Willie O’Dea said: “I don’t want to get into that at all” when contacted.

“There is an ongoing internal investigation. We await the outcome of that,” he added.

Mayor O’Dea was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail leader Michéal Martin has ramped up the pressure on Cllr O’Dea to make a fuller statement over the issue.

Mr Martin described the incident as “very serious”, and confirmed he had instructed Fianna Fail general secretary Sean Dorgan to make contact with the mayor.

“Cllr O’Dea was advised that the party viewed this matter to be very serious,” said Mr Martin.

“He was then advised to consider making a detailed and comprehensive statement about the circumstances surrounding his road traffic accident. The response is awaited.”