TEMPLEMORE councillor Michael Ryan has hit back at claims by the town’s traders’ association that Templemore Town Counci was “critical of damage caused to some grass areas in the town park”.
Martin Grey, chairman of Templemore Traders’ Association had been responding to a query by Cllr Ryan at the council’s June meeting when he asked what the critieria was for parking on the green areas in the park when major events wre being held there.
In a statement in the Tipperary Star on July 14, the traders stated that they were “disappointed” that to read comments in the paper from the council that were critical of damage caused to some grass areas in the park.
However, Cllr said that it was he and not the council who had made the comment.
“I had asked a question. The thing was taken out of context and misquoted. No such (critical) comment was ever made. They need to get their facts right before they start putting things into the paper,” he told the Star this week.
Cllr Ryan had initially responded to the traders at the July meeting of Templemore Town Council.
“I felt aggrieved about what they said. The council is there to represent all the people in the town and the people don’t want this type of thing going on,” he said. “It doesn’t go down well. We are there to help the traders,” he told the Star after the meeting.
He said the traders’ comments were “inaccurate” and “not right”.
The traders had also said in their statement that “some members” of the council had “failed to recognise the importance of such events to the business community of Templemore”.
However, at the July meeting Cllr Ryan praised Templemore Athletics Club for the way such events were organised.
“I understand the importance of such events and I applaud the groups and individuals who bring people into the town” he said.
Cllr Ryan said that comments by the traders that the council’s “understanding of the current economic situation of the town is nil” were “totally off the wall and couldn’t be further from the truth”.
“We endeavour to do what we can as a council under the restraints we face,” he said.
At the council meeting in July, Cllr Ryan also praised the traders for their current advertising campaign to keep business in the town.
“They got money in the budget to promote the town. However, I understand that they haven’t drawn that money. down We have one of the lowest commercial rates in the country,” he said.
“Everbody is entitled to their opinion, once the facts are correct. They were not correct on this occasion. They should get it right,” said Cllr Ryan.
At the council meeting on July 25, deputy Mayor Cllr Maura Ryan raised the issue of the “No Saturday Parking” signs in shop windows and said she would like to see them taken down.
And Cllr Marcus Wilson recalled that the council had met the traders earlier this year and they had said they would come back to the council.
“We have never heard back. We held out the hand of friendship. If they are interested in partnership they should come back to us with suggestions,” he said.
It was suggested that the council contact the traders to follow up from that meeting, but Cllr Mick Connell said: “I don’t thik we should be inviting them anymore. They are grown up people who are running serious businesses. I wouldn’t be issuing any further invitations”.
He thanked Cllr Ryan for his positive comments towards the athletics club.