Carrick-on-Suir’s councillors have clashed with Town Council management over the fate of the town’s mayoral chain of office after the Council is abolished next month.
The Town Council’s nine elected members unanimously supported a motion tabled at the Council’s April meeting calling for the mayoral chain of office and any other appriopriate items related to Carrick Town Council and its predecessor Carrick Urban District Council to be donated or loaned to Carrick Heritage Centre.
The motion, tabled by Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald, requested that this be done by the outgoing Town Council prior to its abolition.
The independent councillor said he totally rejected Council’s management’s response that any decision in relation to the allocation of properties currently owned by the Town Council will be decided by Tipperary Co. Council after the Town Council is abolished.
He argued that the mayoral chain and other Town Council memorabilia such as the wall boards in the Council chamber listing past UDC and Town Council chairpersons and mayors since 1900 had a huge social connection to the Carrick and should remain in the town.
“It’s not about the monetary value of the chain. It’s part of our town. There are Carrick people’s names on the chain and the Co. Council shouldn’t have any say on it.”
The other 8 councillors at the meeting echoed this view. But Town Clerk Michael O’Brien and Town Manager Pat Slattery insisted it would be a matter for the newly elected Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District to decide.
Mr O’Brien said the elected members of the new council may wish to continue using this mayoral chain and if it was decided to use an alternative chain it would be up to them to decide how to dispose of the old one.
He also said there was a formal method for disposing of Council property and this process wouldn’t be completed before the Town Council’s abolition.
Cllr Fitzgerald rejected this and argued there was still time to dispose of the chain. And Mayor Cllr Kieran Bourke said he would be “totally opposed” to the mayoral chain being used by the new municipal council. “I feel with the abolition of our Town Council the chain dies with the Council... If they want a new mayor or chairman they should get a new chain,” he declared.
Cllr Martin Henzey said it was a sad day that the Council’s elected members didn’t have a say where the chain of office would go.
Mr Slattery agreed the mayoral chain should stay in Carrick and noted the Council’s members had made a strong statement about what they wanted but it was still a matter for the new council to decide on.