Thurles Town Councillor Noel Dwyer (Independent) was censured by Mayor John Kenehan at the annual Estimates meeting on Monday evening after a bitter exchange of words which commenced following Cllr Dwyer's labelling of Cllr Micheal Cleary as 'Cllr Smiley'.
What started out as a molehill soon turned into a mountain as Cllr Dwyer and the Mayor became engaged in a shouting match with Mayor Kenehan pleading for the Independent Councillor to withdraw the comment and to respect the position of Chairman. However, Cllr Dwyer continued to talk over the Mayor and accused Cllr Cleary of "smiling and sneering" while he (Cllr Dwyer) made a proposal to the members on the budget.
The proposal referred to the old chestnut of conference expenses and the Mayor's allowance and was sure to be controversial at the very least. In fact, the proposal just helped to ignite the fuse and soon the meeting resembled some of the early gatherings of the council which succeeded in bringing local politics and democracy into disrepute as one member put it, at the time.
Mayor Kenehan warned Cllr Dwyer about his conduct and informed him that he would be censured if he continued to disrespect the chair. "I won't be censured by anybody Mayor - not by you or anyone. Councillor Smiley over there seems to think that this is all a big laugh. Well I'm not laughing and you can ask me all you like, but I won't be withdrawing my remarks," Cllr Dwyer said.
Full story in this week's Tipperary Star.