A FORMER Waterford City & County Councillor has criticised the use of motions at council meetings saying that “some are aspirational, while others are downright ridiculous”.
The councillor, who asked not to be named – presumably to save a roasting from his former colleagues – was speaking after learning of a motion, which is to be presented by Green Party Councillor Jody Power at this week’s Plenary meeting. The recently elected councillor is asking Waterford Council to “consider the sculpting of the head of Michael Collins on a Mount Rushmore style sculpting to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of our free country”.
According to Cllr Power this will “not only commemorates our great liberator”, but also add a unique tourist attraction to our city and county. “The scale of our cliff face is such that other heads may be added in due course”, added Cllr Power.
According to the former councillor, these type of motions are happening “all the time”.
“Some motions are very useful and others can be quite beneficial to the people of Waterford,” the former councillor said. “However, there are others – no disrespect to Cllr Power – which are just crazy and are beyond the remit, and the capabilities of our council. I’d go as far as to call them a complete waste of time, especially when the council is dealing with so many other crises right now.”
The Waterford News & Star glanced through some previous Council meetings to find some other motions that could be described as “aspirational”.
In February 2019, Fianna Fail Councillor James Tobin asked Waterford City and County Council to call on the government to “make breathalyzer kits available free to all pharmacies with said pharmacies reimbursed for stocking same.”
In October 2018, Sinn Féin Councillor Siobhán Whelan wanted Waterford City and County Council to call on the Irish Government to “expel all Israeli Diplomats from Ireland until such time that Israel respects International law, ends the siege of Gaza and ends the occupation of Palestine.”
In November 2106, Independent Councillor Joe Conway called on Waterford City and County Council to ask the GAA to “reverse its policy of selling the exclusive broadcasting rights of Gaelic Games to subscription viewing channels and to return to the long held position of the GAA that ensured all televised Championship Gaelic Games are shown on terrestrial “Free to Air” channels for all to see”.
In June 2016, Sinn Fein Councillor Breda Brennan tabled a motion that called on Egypt to “immediately release Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa and ask An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to write to the Egyptian embassy to convey our views.”
Mr Halawa was released in October 2017 but the Waterford News & Star can’t confirm whether Waterford City & County council had anything to do with that.
In March 2019, newly elected Councillor Matt Shanahan tabled a very relevant and worthwhile motion to call on the Government to “immediately abandon any decision to proceed to Phase 2 of the National Children’s Hospital”. Unfortunately, that too may be beyond the capabilities of Waterford City & Council.