With the demise of Cashel Town Council now only weeks away, Councillor Maribel Wood says that it has served the town well over the years.
As Deputy Mayor in March 2011, her proposal that the Council extend an invitation to Queen Elizabeth to visit Cashel was agreed unanimously by all those present and that decision was immediately forwarded to the British Embassy in Dublin.
“Queen Elizabeth’s subsequent arrival on the Rock, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, on May 20th, 2011 was a memorable occasion for all the right reasons and while the significance of our town and its monuments was been recognised by a worldwide audience and we were showcasing our architectural treasures to the best advantage, that single gesture from our courageous Sinn Fein Mayor, the late Councillor Michael Brown, in shaking her hand and welcoming her majesty to Cashel, was acclaimed and recognised internationally. It was a moment in history, once in a lifetime. “I was privileged to be standing by his side in the Vicars Choral Hall and I am in no doubt but that that single gesture played its part in building a relationship now resulting in President Michael D. Higgins official visit to Britain,” she says. As Mayor, and within weeks of the royal visit, she welcomed 300 delegates, Mayors and Ambassadors from 26 EU countries for their annual Rural Charter meeting, titled, People Meet People. It was a massive challenge for a small town but after dozens of meetings over an 18 month period. Cllr Wood believes that the roots of any good democracy should rest with the local people. Not alone will the council chamber be silent, but with no staff and less resources a serious question mark hangs over the delivery of services in an important tourist town. “The so called Reform, Putting People First, was ill thought out, rushed, and confusion abounds on many fronts, It’s only when the key is turned for the last time at our civic offices and when the telephone goes dead that the citizens of Cashel will realise what they’ve lost,” she concludes.