There will be no junkets for local politicians on March 17 but a Fianna Fail county councillor believes the council’s Cathaoirleach be allowed to go to New York, or wherever he wanted for St Patrick’s Day.
Cllr Ray Cribbin said he had noticed that the councillors did not have to approve a trip to New York for Cllr John Bonham to represent the county.
“I propose that the Chairperson be allowed to go to New York,” said the Portarlington councillor this week.
But Cllr Bonham’s Fine Gael party colleague, Cllr Willie Aird was the first to oppose the motion.
Mindful of the recession, the Portlaoise councillor said he was having none of it.
“I’m not going to stop you from going anywhere but this is an outrageous proposal,” he said.
Cllr Bonham said the proposal had been a surprise to him, adding that he had decided to stay at home to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
“I won’t be travelling anywhere, I want to stay in my local community,” he said.
Cllr Bonham explained to members that the fund for overseas travel was done away with a few years ago.
He said there was no money provided for it in the estimates.
However, another FG man Cllr John Moran felt overseas travel was valuable.
“Important business comes from these trips, its not always money that’s wasted.
“You could go out with €1,000 and come back with €10,000,” Cllr Moran said to the amusement of the other members.
“You must have a different credit card to than me,” Cllr James Deegan retorted.