Carrick-on-Suir Town Council’s elected members and staff gathered at the Town Hall last Friday for a poignant final meeting of the local authority before its abolition.
They were joined by the new Tipperary Co. Council Chief Executive Joe McGrath and many former councillors and former council staff.
Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Kieran Bourke unveiled a plaque commemorating Carrick’s last Town Council in the Town Hall foyer and led a minute’s silence at the start of the meeting in memory of past council members and staff.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien recited an article on the history of Carrick’s local authorities from Medieval times to today and read letters from Carrick Tourism & Economic Development Committee and Clancy Brothers Festival expressing regret at the Council’s abolition and thanking it for its support.
All nine councillors addressed the meeting. The Mayor said it was a sad and historic night as they said goodbye to a huge part of the town’s history. The outgoing Council served in the most challenging economic circumstances over the past five years but continued to provide services of the highest standard to the people of Carrick, he said.
The Council’s first ever woman councillor and woman mayor, Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan, who like Cllr Bourke is one of several generations of her family to serve on the Council, said it had been an honour to serve on the Council for 15 years. And while she recalled many a battle with successive town clerks there had always been respect between them.
While some councillors had regrets about goals the Council didn’t achieve, Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin was the only one to criticise the outgoing Council’s overall performance. He said the Council should have been more focused on projects and politics should have been left outside the door.
Town Manager Pat Slattery said there was passionate and robust debate at Council meetings over the years but everyone around the table tried to do their best for the town.
He thanked the Council’s staff whom he was very proud of and spoke about the plans to redevelop the Town Hall as the new Carrick Municipal District HQ. “I want this to be building for the people of this town not just the Council,” he said.