Speech by Councillor
Ted Tynan (Workers’ Party) opposing election of Cllr. Catherine Clancy as Lord
Mayor of Cork, Friday, 21st June 2013.
Lord Mayor, Councillors, Manager,
I will be brief, as I know
some of you have celebrations to
go to tonight, celebrations of another foregone conclusion which the members of
the pact here call an election. You see
the outcome of tonight’s mayoral election was decided more or less four years
ago. The person who will become Lord
Mayor tonight was able to book her celebratory party many months ago; 12 months
or more according to some sources. Most
of the seating in the public gallery has been reserved for the supporters of
Cllr. Catherine Clancy even though there is going to be more than one candidate here
tonight. What an awful inconvenience it
must be for Cllr. Clancy and her Labour Party friends to have to go through the
motions of an election and have to listen to democratically elected members who
are not prepared to accept an appointment by acclamation.
Democracy, it would seem, is
an inconvenience for the
establishment parties here tonight. They
would prefer the pomp and circumstance of a changing of the guard.
The Workers’ Party
in Cork has made the decision to support
a challenge in tonight’s election. I
intend to second the nomination of Councillor Henry Cremin so that a vote can
be forced tonight. There are many
differences of policy between the Workers’ Party and Cllr. Cremin’s party, Sinn
Féin. Yet I recognise that Cllr. Cremin
is a hard-working and active councillor who has as much claim to the mayoralty
as the candidate of the Pact. He is much
more in touch with ordinary people and has a solid record of working with them
and on their behalf.
I would urge the media here
not to regard this challenge
tonight as mere theatre or a sideshow, a bit of colour-writing to put at the
end of a lengthy eulogy for the new Lord Mayor.
It is a serious choice for the councillors, whether they are prepared to
sustain an undemocratic pact which has lasted a third of a century.
This is not simply about the
pact however; it is about the
policies of all three of these parties of the monied establishment. Over the
past number of years they have,
between them, imposed appalling hardship through their support for austerity at
local, national and international level.
Nationally Fianna Fáil imposed the bank bailouts and the Troika on
ordinary working people with devastating consequences. Fine Gael and Labour
rubber stamped the same
situation with a few cosmetic tweaks here and there, but the result has been
the same. As we wait here for the crowning of a new Lord Mayor, thousands of
parents of special needs children worry about the effects of the latest cuts in
funding, while local authority tenants wonder what happened the council’s
housing maintenance scheme and those on the housing list must be in despair. They
must be bewildered by this circus here
tonight, and they would be right to seethe with anger.
Before I conclude I refer to
the €106,000 per annum salary
of the office of Lord Mayor. This is
almost three times the average industrial salary. It is ten times what an old-age
receives. On a daily basis here
councillors, including those intending to support the Pact candidate, are told
there is no money for one important service or another, be it replacement of
street lighting, broken footpaths or whatever.
Some of them make a meal out of sending out leaflets to their
constituents telling them how hard they fought to get something fixed but that
there were no funds. They don’t state
the reason, that those funds have been cut by their own parties in order to
bailout zombie banks. This is the height
of hypocrisy and shows how totally insincere these councillors are.
So go to your celebrations
tonight. Pat one another on the
back on getting another one up on the smaller parties and independents, the begrudgers
as you would have it; because this time next year it won’t be the parties in
here you’ll be worrying about, but the voters out there. You will be not be
judged on your glossy leaflets or smug posters, but on your record and tonight
you are adding another black mark to that appalling report card.
Cllr. Ted Tynan