DCSIMG

Row over President’s Freedom honour averted

Cllr John Gilligan is not happy with the way it was decided to award the Freedom of Limerick to President Michael D Higgins

Cllr John Gilligan is not happy with the way it was decided to award the Freedom of Limerick to President Michael D Higgins

 

COUNCILLOR John Gilligan has withdrawn his opposition to the awarding of the Freedom of Limerick to Michael D Higgins.

The Independent councillor was upset that a decision to award the president the highest civic honour had been taken without notice at a meeting he was not present at.

Councillors unanimously decided last Friday to pass the motion at a meeting held to record a vote of sympathy to the late former Cathaoirleach Mary Harty.

But Cllr Gilligan said the move was “illegal and totally undemocratic”.

“The way it should have happened is that we should have called a special meeting for this – and we decide whether we will do this or not. I was astounded that anyone would do such a thing.” he said.

However, following meetings with Mayor Michael Sheahan and city management, Cllr Gilligan said he would drop his objection to it – despite saying he could, should he have wished, taken out a High Court injunction to prevent the ceremony going ahead.

“I have decided I will not be taking any further action on it,” he confirmed, saying this is “for the benefit of the city and the benefit of a man I have big regard for.

“The President of Ireland has been a committed socialist down through the years. He has stood alone on issues which are both internationally and nationally important. The last thing I would want to see is him being embarrassed,” Cllr Gilligan added.

His decision leaves the way clear for President Michael D Higgins to be honoured with the Freedom of Limerick on Monday,September 29 at a public event at the Milk Market.

 

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