HANLEY SLAMS '5 LOST YEARS'
Fermoy town councillor, Michael Hanley this week launched a scathing attack on fellow elected officials who are members of an alleged pact of five within the local authority, claiming that such agreement is ‘a two fingered sign’ to those who voted for the excluded councillors, writes Joe Leogue.
Cllr Hanley, who is unable to attend the final meeting of Fermoy Town Council in May, took a parting shot at the council’s record at the monthly sitting of the local authority last Tuesday.
The Fermoy businessman prefaced his statement, made at the end of the meeting, by insisting that he regretted having to level such accusations of ‘five lost years’ at the council but added that he ‘could not leave the impression I have had a happy experience.’
Cllr Hanley thanked the town council officials for their patience and called on the Fermoy electorate to remove the ‘poison’ from the local body.
“I came into the council with a significant vote, representing a substantial wish for change, on the electorate’s behalf. I made it quite clear, prior to the election that I would not be a party to further division within the council chamber.”
“To witness what followed, with the exclusion of four members of the duly elected councillors, from any role-playing in the life of the council for the following five years was regrettably a two fingered sign to those who voted for us. Thus began, in my opinion a dramatic slide in the recognition of our town council as a local government body, charged with the promotion and development of our lovely town, in an all embracing manner.
“As it has now transpired, this was possibly the gravest error of judgement, and can only be described as ‘the five lost years’.
”Cllr Hanley continued: “At the core of this problem sits a poison, politically driven, which claims exclusivity in relation to the membership of this council. My earnest wish on behalf of the citizens of this town and indeed the wider community is that this poison will either dissipate or be exorcised, as a result of the next election.”
“I want to sincerely thank the management and staff of the council for their courtesy and helpfulness to me over the past five years. I also want to apologise to the management for any role I may have played in the nightmare that has been so called debate here. Your patience has been truly tested, and so has mine,” he concluded.
Cllr Hanley is not the first to level accusations of a pact within Fermoy Town Council, with local election candidates citing the issue as one raised on the doorsteps of the town.
In a recent interview with this newspaper Cllr Peter Merrigan said that if the same five councillors are re-elected “there would be no point in anyone else showing up.”
“The biggest problem in Fermoy Town Council is the pact of those five. In a democracy for such an agreement to be in place is a disgrace,” he said in a recent ‘Local Election Soapbox’ feature in The Avondhu.
Thursday 23rd April 7:28pm