Councillor Tommy Byrne.
We’ve all heard the phrase “The law is an ass” and occasionally we do see the rules get in the way of common sense. One such occasion occurred at the very start of Monday evening’s December meeting of Drogheda Borough Council.
Long standing Councillor Tommy Byrne left his hospital bed especially to try and get an emergency motion calling on Louth Co Council to provide a new secure and safe route for the 300 children from Moneymore who walk to Ballymackenny School each day.
Sadly he was ruled out of order by Council Officials, and backed up by Mayor Frank Godfrey, because according to “standing orders” he was not allowed to raise the issue as it had already been discussed in September and the rules state that it cannot be raised again within six months.
Them’s the rules folks, and we have to abide by them, but surely a few minutes could have been found to let Cllr. Byrne air his grievance, especially as the Mayor managed to slip it into the conversation some time later in the night.
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Having been so abruptly silenced Cllr. Byrne’s reaction was to repeatedly declare in a loud voice “IT’S A DISGRACE!” and, as everyone around the table tried to respond at the same time, Tommy stormed out of the meeting in anger.
What Councillor Byrne wanted to say was:
“The lethal and dark alleyway between Moneymore and Castle Manor Estate must be closed immediately.
“The alleyway is a hang-out for drugs and used by gunmen. The big fear is that a child will encounter these people at the gap and the route has also been used to mount robberies on local delivery people.
“This is about the safety of local people in both estates of Moneymore and Castle Manor. This is the worst case I have come across as an Auctioneer and Councillor in County Louth.
“The land owned by Louth County Council right beside the Ballymakenny School needs to be developed to provide a secure and safe roadway to the school.
“The people of Moneymore deserve a safe route to school for their children.”