North Tipperary County Council was fraught with heated and angry exchanges this week in Ballina as councillors clashed with each other and with the executive, primarily over funding issues relating to the amalgamation of North and South Tipperary.
The council held it’s first, and probably only, meeting in Ballina to help launch the Brian Boru Festival commemorating the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 - Brian Boru lived in Ballina and at times the council chamber was akin to the famous battleground with raised voices and poison tipped political jibes being fired hither and tither with ferocious regularity.
All of the main political parties were embroiled in the exchanges with Sinn Fein’s Cllr Seamus Morris being particluarly vocal throughout.
Cllr Morris rounded on the County Manager Mr Joe MacGrath over lack of information being provided on how funding would be decided under the new Tipperary County Council. Mr MacGrath had informed him that this would be a matter for the newly elected members, and that he could not give him Cllr Morris a more definitive answer.
Mayor Ger Dracy was also on the receiving end of a dressingdown from Cllr Morris. “Everything is being shoved down our throats from the top and from headquarters now - Phil Hogan is riding roughshod over everyone and there is not one person in Fine Gael who would disagree with me,” he said.
Mayor Darcy retorted by saying that Cllr Morris cannot come in and ride roughshod over the council either.
Later, a row erupted about Thurles Christmas lighting funds with Cllr Michael O’Meara stating that 59,000 being spent in Thurles in 2012, while other areas receive nothing , was not on. He was taken to task by Cllrs Seamus Hanafin and Jim Ryan both of whom said that the lighting was paid for by Thurles rate payers thorugh Thurles Town Council.
There were also angry clashes over notices of motion concerning post offices and the new Gateway initiative.
Election mischief is evident in the sulphurous air.