*Chief Executive of Shannon Chamber, Helen Downes. Photograph: Eamon Ward

COUNCILLORS in the Shannon Municipal District have said they “will not be dictated to by Shannon Chamber”.

Shannon Chamber have sought a meeting with elected members of the Shannon Municipal District in advance of the local elections.

In correspondence issued to the Shannon MD, Chief Executive of Shannon Chamber, Helen Downes explained that she was “instructed” to seek a meeting with elected members following a meeting of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “The purpose of this meeting is to discuss issues impacting Shannon that concern us and our members and for which we are seeking resolution”.

Both Ms Downes and Shannon President Chamber, Eoin Gavin hold “regular update meetings” with the Council Chief Executive Pat Dowling and acting senior executive officer in the Shannon MD, Anne Griffin. “Our board feel it is imperative that we meet directly with all elected members to reiterate the issues discussed at such meetings”.

She added, “this proposed meeting with Shannon Municipal District would take place in the Shannon Chamber boardroom in Shannon Airport house on a date and time that suits all parties. As Chambers Ireland will be launching its Local Government Manifesto 2024 in late March, I suggest an April date would be most appropriate, post Easter”.

“Once the meeting is confirmed, I can prepare an appropriate agenda. I suggest a meeting of maximum hour and a half would suffice,” Downes added.

A Shannon Stakeholders Group has recently been established by Shannon Chamber “to provide a platform for key stakeholders in Shannon to meet, discuss and share ideas on the betterment of Shannon in all aspects of living, working and doing business”. The Council’s representative on this is Griffin while the Shannon Community Partnership which was formed last year are also represented.

Discussing the correspondence, Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) suggested it be held as a special or general meeting “as we do with other groups”.

“I am particularly worried that Shannon Chamber are straying into the mandate of elected members,” Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) commented. “I for one will not be dictated to by Shannon Chamber, they can follow the process of applying to meet us via standing orders like everyone else. We have a public mandate, they don’t,” he added.

Cllr McGettigan’s response that “they could meet us on our terms” was accepted by the members.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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