*Cllr Ann Norton & Cllr Paul Murphy. Photograph: Eamon Ward
An elected member of Clare County Council has claimed the Mayor of Ennis has been “undermined”.
Speaking at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, Cllr Ann Norton (IND) expressed her frustration at not being informed of an awards ceremony for Enable Ireland in Ennis. She felt councillors were not receiving sufficient information on events taking place in the MD.
She was annoyed with the absence of the Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) from a recent event surrounding the Ennis 2040 Plan. “It is not acceptable that the Mayor of Ennis is undermined by not being present,” Norton stated.
Senior executive officer, Carmel Greene in response flagged that the Ennis 2040 Plan was “a strategic document for Ennis but also a countywide plan”. She said it was a common occurrence for the Mayor of Ennis or a Cathaoirleach of another Municipal District not to be present if the Mayor of Clare was in attendance. “There are often times the Council doesn’t have both the Mayor of the County and Mayor of Ennis at both events, often when there is a countywide programme it is the Mayor of the County that is invited”.
“We have the Mayor of Ennis, it is a title given to a Municipal District over a certain population, we have a Cathaoirleach of the County, I do believe that the Mayor of Ennis is the Mayor of Ennis, the Cathaoirleach of the County is the Cathaoirleach. The idea of having the Mayor of Ennis and Mayor of Clare is actually not proper and is not in the legislation, there has to be a certain protocol. At the end of the day Ennis 2040 is for the Ennis area, the Mayor of Ennis should be part and parcel of everything that is being done. I think the Mayor is not getting the proper respect he deserves. I don’t know who has decided to change the legislation,” the Barefield representative said.
Ms Greene outlined that a recommendation to bring the matter before the Corporate Policy Group to obtain their view would be made.
Concluding the debate, Cllr Norton felt the Ennis MD needed to start “standing up for ourselves”. She added, “We need to make sure that we are represented, we are the biggest town in Co Clare and I don’t believe the Mayor of Ennis is getting the authority and respect he should be getting”.
Neither Cllr Murphy or the Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard (FG) nor any other councillor responded to the commentary of Cllr Norton.