TWO local councillors reacted with outrage to story in the Leader’s tabloid edition of Wednesday, April 1, announcing that Limerick will elect five mayors on the one day this June.
Cian Prendiville of the Anti-Austerity Alliance and Fianna Fail’s deputy mayor, Cllr Joe Crowley, called the newspaper after reading a story written by editor Alan English about a plan to give all three chairmen of the rural electoral areas the title of mayor.
They would join Mayor of Limerick City and County Kevin Sheahan and Metropolitan District mayor Michael Sheahan in acquiring a mayoral chain.
The story said the deal would be rubber-stamped at a private meeting this Wednesday and that three new chains would be ordered by the council, at a cost yet to be disclosed.
Cllr Prendiville contacted the Leader’s newsdesk to point out that legislation would not allow the creation of three more mayors.
Upon being told it was an April Fools’ joke, Cllr Prendiville said: “I walked right into that one, didn’t I? I’m telling you, I am getting too old for this game! Fair play to you!”
A highly concerned Cllr Crowley told us: “It’s a mess, isn’t it? I think the whole thing is mad. We are going to make ourselves a laughing stock!”
He said he had even taken phone calls from fellow councillors asking him if he was attending the “behind closed doors” meeting. Meanwhile, the council’s official spokesperson was also bombarded with calls.
After we broke the news to him, Cllr Crowley was totally taken aback.
“Christ!” he said. “You got me good there – and you can quote me on that!”