Fears that restrictions on council staff overtime might have led to the cancellation of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cashel were allayed at the monthly meeting of the local Town Council.
Town Manager Sean Keating told last week’s meeting that they would ‘arrange for the necessary to be done’ between the people of the town and the Council staff to ensure that the parade wouldn’t be affected.
Town Engineer Willie Corby had stated that the Council’s overtime budget was extremely tight and overtime worked during the recent storms had eaten into that budget.
There was no lack of goodwill on the Council’s part, Mr Corby said, but he didn’t know how they would be fixed. He thought there might be some goodwill among the outdoor staff towards the parade.
As chairman of the parade organising committee Cllr. Martin Browne (Sinn Fein) said he was shocked to be told there would be no help from the Council staff on St. Patrick’s Day.
He said this was an absolute disgrace.
The parade was a showpiece for the town and if all the work was left to five or six people he feared it wouldn’t take place, he expressed his concern.
Cllr. Browne told the meeting that he appreciated the issues with overtime, as well as the Council’s contribution of €1,000 towards the parade, but they also needed people on the street on the day.
There was no guarantee that groups coming from places such as Dundrum or Golden to take part would bring stewards with them.
The Mayor, Cllr. Joe Moloney, said the Council should have staff available as normal for the parade. He went on to say that it wasn’t that easy to get people to give a hand because groups and organisations taking part had an awful lot to do. It would be a bit unfair to leave all the work to five or six volunteers, he added.
Upwards of 3,500 people are expected to take part and come out to watch the Cashel parade.