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Public Apology To Colm McCarthy

By now you must have cleaned your glasses with vinegar at least once, just in case that excellent article published in our popular Tipperary Star newspaper, wasn’t just some trick of the flickering candle flame. What, you haven’t read it yet?  Go out and buy a copy immediately, it’s further proof that the recession is over.

Having read this article several times myself, the words of  the poet Willie ShakespeareI know you all and will uphold the unyoked humour of your idleness“,  suddenly sprang to mind. It also brought me to the startling realisation that I must now, humbly and profoundly, apologise to Mr Colm McCarthy of An Bord Snip Nua fame, who recommends rationalising the structures of local government by abolishing both regional authorities and town councils to provide a single local authority.  Colm my old pal, I am truly sorry, please forgive me.

Current state of footpaths at St.Mary's Avenue

Current state of footpaths at St.Mary's Avenue

Our beautiful town of Thurles, Co Tipperary, which had a turnout of 4,166 voters at the last local elections, from a population of 7,000  unwashed residents, is just one of 80 towns throughout this messed up Green Land, which will, dare I say be relieved, if this An Bord Snip Nua recommendation is implemented.

Thurles Town Council, which has a staff, give or take, of about 25 and a budget for 2009 of a miserable, paltry €5.9 million, is responsible for ‘local rates’, ‘local litter prevention’, ‘local housing’, ‘street cleaning’, ‘planning’, ‘leisure amenities’ and a few ‘potholed local roads’. They have no responsibility for ‘fire brigade’, ‘national and regional road maintainance’, ‘water’, ‘libraries’ etc, as they come under the care of North Tipperary Co.Council.

Thurles town council has nine elected members and they meet once a month, suspiciously at night, except during the month of Sextilis (better known as August), because most of those we elected enjoy other daily profitable employments.

Thurles Town Council has two Labour Councillors, four Independent Councillors and one Councillor each from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin. Each receives an annual salary, better known as a “Representational Allowance” of about €4,401,per annum (€400.09 per meeting) which is properly treated as taxable income by the Revenue Commissioners. They also receive, annually, expenses of about €2,200 which is not taxed and an annual mobile telephone allowance of, in or about €400, for which, the latter only, they must produce unclassifiable receipts. If they have to attend extra meetings or conferences outside Thurles, they are paid motor mileage and other expenses. Each year, they elect with difficulty a Town Mayor from their midst, who serves for a one year term only and who receives about €10,000 extra, which is not taxable.

Yes, I believe that both Mr Brian Lenihan and Mr Brian Cowen are amongst the regular daily readers of Thurles.Info, so do your sums gentlemen – €4,401 + €2,200 + €400 = €7001 is about the basic salary paid to each of these political party pusher, who this week  choose to argue publically over their expenses claims to attract press publicity. Multiply €7001 x 9 = €63,009 + €10,000 for a Town Mayor = €73,009.

Note, I have not included any expenses that might be paid for trips in the future, for those sent as observers to the Munich Beer Festival or journeys to Japan to observe the shaping, watering, and repotting of Bonsai Trees. Neither have I included their share of the €10 million National Goodbye Fund to be paid by the Minister for the Environment when they get sacked or fail to get elected. (Sorry of course they can’t get sacked for 5 years)

Surely, Taoiseach here  is one way of saving money in your forthcoming promised budget from Hell.

In the event that both the Brian’s do not follow my advice, and occasionally, to their detriment, the don’t, allow me to point out through the medium of  the attached picture posted herewith, some basic work that Councillors can be getting on with and which will allow them to demonstrate that they actually have power and do represent the best interests of  their valued electorate. Note this footpath shown is the main thoroughfare walked by the imaginery thousands of tourists each year to visit what is known locally as the Memorial Garden of the Living Dead. Latter gets it’s name due to the fact that some living elected councillors and others have enscribed their names in stone at least six times, to ensure their future place in history.

Councillors we will be watching your progress in this matter with great interest.

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