The purchasing of new ceremonial chains for the chairperson of the Dundalk Municipal District has proved to be a bone of contention with one independent councillor describing them ‘as a waste of Louth taxpayers money’.
Speaking at the monthly Dundalk Municipal District meeting Independent Alliance councillor Maeve Yore stated that paying €1100 (€840 plus VAT) on ceremonial chains for the Cathaoirleach is a complete waste of Louth taxpayers money and called for a vote to overturn the decision.
Cllr Yore stated she has attended numerous events throughout the County since elected in 2014 – frequently being the only Councillor in attendance – and has never felt the need to ‘have chains around her neck’ to introduce herself as a County Councillor representing Louth.
She also stated that it appeared some councillors had forgotten that they are all Louth County Councillors since the introduction of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 and that there is a ceremonial chain of office for Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council that should suffice.
“They are just pomp and ceremony” stated Maeve. “Chains in my opinion are a thing of the past and taxpayers are fed up of wasting money on the like. It’s also important to note that the Chairperson role has been ‘divvied out’ for the five-year term ‘by agreement’ between all political parties so an Independent would never get the opportunity to be Cathaoirleach.” she added.
Councillor Yore welcomed the support for her vote by Sinn Fein members’ and one FF member.
Meanwhile Cllr Peter Savage who voted against Maeve Yore’s motion criticised the practice of always complaining that certain things are a waste of money.
“This business of saying that this or that is a waste of money is futile in my opinion. In the grand scheme of things this is proportionality a very small thing in the overall context of money the council spend. Every single decision we make you could argue that the money could be better off spent elsewhere. I really don’t see the point of this argument.
“When I was chairperson I didn’t particularly like wearing the chains and didn’t like the attention they brought to me but I can see their value for certain occasions. If it’s a function which involves children they always enjoy to see the chains or they can also add a certain solemnity to occasions such as the 1916 celebrations. At the end of the day they are not very expensive and actually Cllr Marianne Butler has offered to pay for them out of her discretionary allocation budget so I really don’t know what all the fuss is about,” stated Cllr Savage.