OPINION PIECE by Cllr. Séamus Morris
The closure yesterday of Nenagh Town council on May 30th 2014 will probably have gone unnoticed by most but the affects will be felt by everyone.
Nenagh town council was born in 1839 and survived world wars , wars of independence and civil wars only to be taken down by a Fine Gael and Labour government who are so desperate to serve their European masters that they have destroyed democracy from the bottom up in order to get some brownie points .
The council has contributed to the economic , social and cultural development of the town since its inception and I am proud that I got the honour of serving 10 years as a councillor, two of them as Mayor of the town. The town was blessed with fantastic politicians from all parties and none working together for the benefit of the people of the town.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the wonderful staff past and present that served the town with distinction and also the many people that put their names in the ring to serve the town those that were elected had only one goal and that was to serve the people of Nenagh.
I am very very concerned for the future of the town in the new enlarged Municipality which will see the town without its own budget fighting for a smaller share of the pie to keep the services of the town to the standard that we have expected up to now. I can assure you that Cllr. Hugh McGrath and I will fight for everything that the town deserves but I fear that we are facing into an abyss and it was so unavoidable if our political masters hadn’t decided to destroy local democracy in its cheapest form for unachievable savings in the new municipal areas which will no doubt cost the people in terms of reduced services for the town.
I leave my last words for the AMAI (Association for the Municipalities of Ireland) the so called union for Town and Borough councils who waved the white flag to the Government and rolled over without even challenging the closures in court despite having hundreds of thousands of euros in their bank accounts belonging to Town and Borough councils across the country. The reason they rolled over “their legal advice told them that they had a 20% chance of winning it in court) If Padraig Pearse and James Connolly had looked at their odds I’m sure it was less than 20% but they persisted and look at what they achieved. I am delighted that FLAME (former local authority members) under Niall Dennehy and supported by Mattie McGrath TD and supported by more and more councillors like myself are contesting the shocking decision to close town and borough councils in court and I would ask the AMAI to use some of their funds to support FLAME in their efforts.
Yours Sincerely Cllr. Séamie Morris 31/05/14