Limerick council meeting suspended after walk-out

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

County hall, Dooradoyle
THE COUNTY councillor who sparked a mass walkout at a council meeting in Limerick this Monday morning has denied that he was “hijacking” proceedings with a demand for an Irish-first housing policy.

THE COUNTY councillor who sparked a mass walkout at a council meeting in Limerick this Monday morning has denied that he was “hijacking” proceedings with a demand for an Irish-first housing policy.

Cllr Sheahan had refused to set aside a demand that the Department of Environment favour Irish citizens over foreign nationals in placing people on waiting lists for public housing.

The meeting was suspended for almost 20 minutes by the Cathaoirleach, Fine Gael’s Cllr Jerome Scanlan. In a statement issued a short time later, Fine Gael group leader Cllr John Sheahan said that the walkout was in response to the “constant disruption to the agenda by some elected members, with heresay and baseless accusations”. He added that the issue was not the content of Cllr Kevin Sheahan’s motion, but the “lack of respect that is being shown” to the office of cathaoirleach.

However Cllr Kevin Sheahan defended his actions. “Of course from time to time, there are outbursts when councillors feel passionate about particular issues. People complained to me that non-nationals have no difficulty getting on the housing list. It’s very hard for me not to take sides with the people who sent me into this council in 1985, and ever since, to represent them”.

For the full story and further reaction, see the weekend editions of the Limerick Leader.