Outgoing mayor criticised for showing ‘very little respect’
There was surprise criticism of outgoing mayor of Clonmel, Cllr Darren Ryan, at the Clonmel Borough Council AGM this week when Cllr Gabrielle Egan, said that she had been shown ‘very little respect’ by him during her time as deputy mayor. The upbeat tone of last Monday’s meeting changed when a very emotional Cllr Egan told the incoming mayor and all future mayors that they should show respect for their deputies.
“I have been shown very little respect in my time in office as deputy mayor. I made a tough decision to leave the Labour Party, and went independent on my stance over the closure of Kickham Barracks and St.Michael’s.”
Cllr Egan was elected to Clonmel Borough Council as a Labour Party candidate in 2009, following co-option the previous year. However she defected from the party in November 2011.
She said that she had been told by people that other councillors had deputised at events when Cllr Ryan could not attend and were wondering why she had not been there in her capacity as deputy.
“They asked me where I was. I didn’t know what to say, I told them that I didn’t know. So I confronted the mayor [Ryan] who told me that ‘he needed them more than he needed me’,” she said.
“This kind of behaviour should not be allowed to continue, after all, six of my colleagues voted for me as deputy mayor. I have done nothing wrong to warrant this kind of behaviour, I always supported you mayor whether it was at mayoral, civic or freedom receptions and I supported the Labour plaque [erected to commemorate centenary] even though I was no longer a member of the Labour Party and I hope that when I did deputise for you mayor, that I represented the people of Clonmel to the best of my abilities. Cllr Egan told South Tipp Today that she had received confirmation from the town clerk that when the mayor is unavailable, then the deputy mayor should stand in. She said that she had deputised at three or four events since Christmas and described her relationship with Cllr Ryan as ‘cool’ since she left Labour. “We would have been quite friendly before that.” She added that she felt very hurt.
Reacting to Cllr Egan’s remarks, Cllr Ryan told South Tipp Today that there were three occasions when other councillors deputised for him. On two occasions he asked councillors who were in some way connected to the event. When asked if he had informed Cllr Egan of such events, he said he hadn’t adding ‘every member should get one opportunity [to deputise]’.
“And if Cllr Egan takes offence to that then that is her issue but anyone who knows me knows that I would not go out of my way [...].”
He said that he never told her that he needed other councillors and not her.
“I dispute that, I did not say those words, absolutely under no circumstances. What I said was that I was giving everybody an opportunity and I need everybody on board. It was December, it was budget time, and I was trying to share out, people had respective involvements [...] Cllr Egan deputised at a large number,” he said.
And when it was pointed out that she had deputised at three or four events since Christmas, Cllr Ryan said that was because he had attended 653 himself.
“I attended every function myself that I could attend there were three functions that I could not attend.”
Cllr Ryan said that the relationship between Cllr Egan and himself ‘was bound to be different’ since her defection from the party last November as party colleagues would work together more. He said he was disappointed that Cllr Egan had made such remarks on the night that the new mayor was appointed.
“Tonight’s forum is above an attack on any person, tonight is about paying tribute to an outgoing mayor and congratulating an incoming mayor, and I want to put on record my disappointment that she chose tonight to express her view.”
Cllr Egan said that she felt the AGM was the most opportune time to publicly express her concerns.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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