SINN Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan has accused Labour Minister Jan O’Sullivan and Cllr Frankie Daly of “gombeen politics”.
It comes after Ms O’Sullivan issued a letter to residents of Stenson Park in Farranshone, saying she and Cllr Daly had been lobbying to get 30 new LED lights for the estate.
Cllr Quinlivan says his election rival, Ms O’Sullivan, had “absolutely nothing” to do with the installation of these works, and called on her to stop claiming credit for them.
But Cllr Daly hit back, saying he is “saddened” his northside rival “has taken on this childish attitude”.
After seeing the letter, which is headed with a picture of Cllr Daly and Ms O’Sullivan, Cllr Quinlivan said it was he that the council contacted.
“In actual fact, the council contacted me with regard to initiating a pilot project for street lighting for Stenson Park back in March. I, along with other party members then carried out a survey of lighting in the estate, consulted with local residents and with the installer of lighting for the pilot project. I also highlighted the project at a local residents meeting and have been continuously liaising with the council on this matter. Is the Minister really that desperate to claw back support for her party’s failures in government? The residents of Stenson Park are no fools and know very well who has been working on their behalf,” he said.
Cllr Quinlivan claimed that Cllr Daly emailed the council only last week asking about the status of these street lights.
“He was told the lights were due to be taken care of in the next few weeks. Then in the best tradition of gombeen politics, Minister O’Sullivan’s camp immediately got busy and within a mere three days proceeded to hastily print and distributed a leaflet claiming that this upgrade was as a result of a major campaign by herself and Cllr Frankie Daly,” he said.
In a blistering attack on the Labour Party, the local Sinn Fein leader accused the part of “desperate stunts”.
“In recent times it has become the habit of Labour to claim credit for almost every street light fixed, park bench painted and street swept. Where as in reality Limerick’s Labour councillors have long ago ceased to function as a unit and remain immobilised like rabbits caught in a cars headlights over fear of how voters will punish their party in the forthcoming general election,” he said.
In response, Cllr Daly said he is “disappointed” at Cllr Quinlivan’s comments.
“From my own point of view, I am out there representing the people, and for it to be dumbed down, and made a political point over is not fair. There is a myriad of areas on the northside I am hoping to get LED lights for. It seems to be a very childish response from Cllr Quinlivan,” the Labour councillor said.
He asked Cllr Quinlivan to “concentrate on helping the people instead of throwing his toys out of the pram. Get out there and do a bit of work. He doesn’t own Stenson Park or the northside. There are people working hard to get things done. I am saddened he has taken on this childish attitude.”
Cllr Quinlivan is to contest the upcoming general election, with many observers suggesting he could take the seat from Ms O’Sullivan.
The predictions come against the backdrop of a significant drop in support for Labour, and a rise in Sinn Fein’s fortunes.