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*Crowds at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Shannon earlier this year. Photograph: Joe Buckley

AN APPEAL for a video to be created showcasing the positives of Shannon Town led to a minor clash between elected representatives with one councillor quipping that she was “the Queen of Facebook”.

In a proposal before the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) asked that a video featuring drone footage be produced using volunteer groups “to showcase the positives in our town, in particular those community volunteer groups who help make our town what it is”.

Senior executive engineer, Tom Mellett said the office would assist “in any way we can. We will discuss this with colleagues in other relevant departments in order to develop a brief for this project”.

Locations such as the Loop Walk and the pump track were recommended for inclusion by Cllr McGettigan. “A lot of the time people tend to focus on the negatives, we do have anti-social behaviour but we need to focus on the positives, we have a lot of companies that want to come to Shannon, we need to try make people want to live in Shannon”.

She added, “We’ve world champions living here, we can ask them to say a few words. We need to show that Shannon is a wonderful town to live in. The pump track is the envy of the county, we need to get it out there how positive Shannon is”.

Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) said he had “no problem” supporting the merits of the motion but informed the meeting that he supplied a trance of funding through his General Municipal Allocation for the local authority to implement a PR campaign for Shannon which was led by former senior executive officer Jason Murphy “quite successfully”. He added, “I don’t do social media, it’s well littered with volunteer groups”.

A need to accentuate the positives of Shannon was reinforced by Cllr PJ Ryan (IND). “Some community organisations need to start thinking positive of their area, it is all negative from some groups, I genuinely believe there is a lot of positives, they need to start talking it up instead of talking it down,” he said of the behaviour of some online groups in Shannon”.

This prompted Cllr Flynn to respond, “I am living in Shannon most of my life, Shannon is one of the best places you can live in, a fantastic plan and a great community. It is spin to say there is negativity being put out there”.

“People in Shannon do talk negatively about the place,” Ryan flagged, this section was “in the minority” according to Flynn but Cratloe based Ryan noted, “they are still there”.

Should a video be created, “it doesn’t have to be just on social media, it can be put on YouTube or played across the Airport,” Cllr McGettigan said. Cllr Flynn suggested that his Shannon colleague could share it on her active Facebook page and she replied, “for someone not on Facebook you seem to know all about my Facebook page, I’m the Queen of Facebook shur”.

If business executives who have established headquarters in Shannon were to address a meeting, “there will be positives emerging then,” Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) maintained.

Findings from a walkability study which was presented to councillors in a behind closed doors briefing represented another positive, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) believed. “We might think it’s an older population but there’s people coming in and out of Shannon the whole time, it is constantly moving as a community, there new buildings going into Industrial Estate, we have the new bike scheme. We’ve a crematorium and two secondary schools, we’ve loads in Shannon”. The study was funded through the GMA of Cllr Flynn and Cllr McGettigan.

Sixmilebridge representative, Cllr John Crowe (FG) stated, “We have to remember it is the capital of our Municipal District, we have enough people criticising us without criticising ourselves. There are an awful lot of positives. These people criticising it should look at themselves first and see where they are going. Never knock your own”.

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