*Michael McNamara TD and Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy.
AN ENNIS COUNCILLOR raised eyebrows at a special meeting of Clare County Council this week with her remarks towards a Clare TD and a fellow barrister.
Four of Clare’s seven Oireachtas members attended a special meeting of Clare County Council on Monday discussing where they were asked to give their explanation as to why Junior Minister, Kieran O’Donnell (FG) made amendments to the County Development Plan.
Attending the meeting were Clare TDs, Cathal Crowe (FF), Michael McNamara (IND) and Violet Anne Wynne (IND) along with Senator Martin Conway (FG). The quartet were seated at the top table alongside management of Clare County Council and Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG).
Clare TD, Joe Carey (FG) who remains on sick leave was not in attendance but represented virtually by his parliamentary assistant Ger O’Halloran while apologies were issued by Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) but the invite was not acknowledged by Senator Roisin Garvey (GP).
Many remarks were passed during the 100 minute meeting but one of the main talking points following the gathering were the comments of Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF).
In welcoming the Oireachtas members to the Council Chamber, the Ballybeg resident stated, “I am glad you are now paying attention, Deputy McNamara I thought I would have to wake you up”.
Immediately it prompted politicians across the Chamber to move in their seats with a bemused Deputy Crowe and Senator Conway succeeding in their efforts not to laugh.
Responding later in the meeting, Deputy McNamara thanked the Quin native for her “concern”. He said that her views “reminded me of democratic control” and a meeting organised by the Retailers of Ennis group in May.
At this meeting, Cllr Colleran Molloy came under fire for her support of the transformational site identified for Abbey Street car park under the Ennis 2040 strategy.
“Assurances were given that there would be no development on Abbey Street until plans were finalised and yet works this week have started on an archaeological excavation. When elected representatives push that control to other bodies, the public lose faith in those other bodies,” McNamara said.
Ironically his contribution prompted Cllr Colleran Molloy to put down her phone in order to absorb what was being said.
Politicians who contacted The Clare Echo in the aftermath of the meeting expressed surprised with Cllr Colleran Molloy’s contribution. “There have been councillors actually asleep at meetings which Cllr Colleran Molloy has been at and even chairing and she hasn’t felt fit to raise it before so it is very surprising that she took aim at Michael McNamara”.