Tynan speech against Cork mayoral pact

Tynan rails against austerity parties pact for Cork Mayoralty

A three-party pact (FF / FG / Labour) has controlled the office of Lord Mayor of Cork and the key committees of the City Council since 1979.   The Lord Mayor of Cork is paid more than the Prime Minister of Spain and has an additional €70,000 expenses slush-fund.

Last Night (Friday) Workers' Party Councillor Ted Tynan condemned the pact and the extravagant Mayoral salary and expenses.  Unsurprisingly Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour Party were not prepared to listen and pushed through their nominee by 20 votes to 6.  Over 100 people protested outside City Hall.   Below is Councillor Tynan's speech.

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 pensioner 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.


Thank You



Cllr. Ted Tynan



Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics