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25 May 2012 Edition

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Fianna Fáil Mayor’s chains rattled by Sinn Féin

Cork City’s ‘Consensus for Cuts’ closes ranks against Sinn Féin

The Sinn Féin group has also highlighted nearly €295,000 spent in two years on officials and councillors going to conferences and seminars. A City Hall reply to my written question revealed that trips that included the Mayor or Deputy Mayor cost just over €80,000. The destinations included Beijing, San Francisco, Rennes in France, London and a number of Irish towns.

THE Fianna Fáil Mayor of Cork had his chains well and truly rattled by the Sinn Féin group on Cork City Council. Mayor Terry Shannon has been called to account for using his position as First Citizen to launch a party political attack on Sinn Féin because it is ahead of Fianna Fáil in the polls.

The Fianna Fáil Mayor claimed that Sinn Féin are “purveyors of poverty who do not want the tide to rise all boats” (which tide?) as, he says, Sinn Féin’s politics need people to be kept down.

The Mayor of Cork City has refused a radio debate with Sinn Féin to defend his comments.

Sinn Féin says he has “brought the office into disrepute” and has called for a public apology.

The Mayor (salary  €114,200, car expenses €30,000, entertainment and associated expenses €30,000) has been particularly annoyed by the Sinn Féin group on Cork City Council for questioning the spending of €250,000 on a makeover of the Mayoral office at a time when service are being cut in various departments across the council, including roads, housing, repairs, recreation and leisure.

The Sinn Féin group has also highlighted nearly €295,000 spent in two years on officials and councillors going to conferences and seminars. A City Hall reply to my written question revealed that trips that included the Mayor or Deputy Mayor cost just over €80,000. The destinations included Beijing, San Francisco, Rennes in France, London and a number of Irish towns.

Responding to the Mayor’s grandstanding for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin tabled an emergency motion at the May meeting of Cork City Council to reaffirm the position of Mayor to be “apolitical, that the holder of the office is representative of all citizens and that the office should not be used to pursue party political agendas”. Labour and Fine Gael joined with Fianna Fáil in blocking the motion.

It’s hoped the motion, nevertheless, will come before council in the coming weeks where the Mayor will have to answer for his partisan position — and we will see if Labour and Fine Gael still stand with Fianna Fáil.

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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