LIMERICK City South councillor Jim Long has accused constituency rival Pat Kennedy of seeking “cheap publicity” in his bid to get the Shannon Bridge renamed.
Cllr Kennedy - who resigned from Fine Gael after defying the party whip - is to present a notice of motion at next month’s meeting of City Council seeking to rename the Shannon Bridge in honour of John F Kennedy.
And Fine Gael councillor Long claimed his former party colleague has been “dictating” to the Labour-Sinn Fein-Fianna Fail-Independent block which he is now a part of, in a bid to railroad his proposal through.
With the city set to undergo redevelopment in the coming years, Cllr Long believes it would be more appropriate to name a new building, or perhaps even an entire district after the former American president.
In a statement, Cllr Long wrote: “Pat Kennedy is now of the belief that whilst he shafted his colleagues in Fine Gael, he now dictates to the pick and mix who have the majority on the council [referring to the opposition bloc]. Old dogs are never taught, but try to teach the others, but they forget who taught them.”
With the Limerick 2030 plan hoped to transform the city centre in the coming years, Cllr Long said it would be far more fitting if JFK’s name was on a new building, rather than a structure which people already know as the Shannon Bridge.
“We are developing the Opera Centre, Arthur’s Quay and the City Centre. There are going to be huge iconic structures developed. Maybe we should take a serious look at naming one of them after JFK. I would support even naming some kind of iconic district after JFK,” Cllr Long said. “I don’t think renaming the bridge is appropriate.”
Describing Cllr Kennedy as a “me fein”, Cllr Long said: “I listen to people on the opposition side, and they are getting inundated with calls saying we have to do this and that. Mr Kennedy is dictating to them.”