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Gombeen politics

The curious case of a leaflet, some street lights and a war of words

This leaflet has sparked some harsh words from two councillors and a government minister.

A GOVERNMENT MINISTER’S leaflet claiming credit for the installation of street lighting in a Limerick city housing estate has sparked a war of words.

Sinn Féin councillor Maurice Quinlivan has criticised his Labour council colleague Frankie Daly and Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan over a leaflet concerning the installation of street lights in Stenson Park, a housing estate in the Farranshone area of the city.

In the leaflet, delivered to residents of the estate, Daly and local TD O’Sullivan claim credit for the council installing new lighting in the area, which has around 70 houses.

The leaflet states:

This work by Frankie and Jan has paid off as the Council have outlined a Programme of Work to replace 30 of the public lights for the residents of Stenson Park, and will commence in 3 weeks.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 16.19.54

However, Quinlivan described the leaflet as “a work of fiction” and said neither the minister nor Daly had anything do with the street lights being installed by the city council.

The Sinn Féin councillor, who lives on the estate, said the council had been in touch with him about initiating a pilot project for street lighting in the area back in March.

He explained: “I, along with other party members then carried out a survey of lighting in the estate, consulted with local residents and with the installer of lighting for the pilot project. I also highlighted the project at a local residents meeting and have been continuously liaising with the council on this matter.”

Quinlivan told

I did all the surveying, checked all the lights, and was meeting people. Then I arrived home last Thursday there was a leaflet through all the neighbours’ houses claiming that she [O'Sullivan] had done all the work.

1510573_10206191405004777_6051360074302144887_n Maurice Quinlivan Facebook Facebook

He described the leaflet as being “in the best tradition of gombeen politics” and claimed that Daly had sent just one email, on 6 July, enquiring about the lights.

However, Daly disputed this and provided with another email he said was sent on 1 July.

In the email he raises the issue of poor lighting in Stenson Park and other areas of the city and asks officials to investigate the possibility of replacing them with low-energy LED lights.

He followed this up with another email and pictures of the poor lighting, which he sent to council officials on 6 July.

The Labour councillor hit back strongly at Quinlivan today, telling this website:

I think the thing with Maurice is he thinks he owns the northside but unfortunately when something positive is done you get an attack from the Sinn Féin characters with these bullish tactics.

“He’s just electioneering now. He’s looking to try and pounce on any good news story that comes forward.”

O’Sullivan went further, accusing Quinlivin of a “rant” that “seems to suggest that he should have a veto” on how she and Daly report back to constituents on matters raised with them.

She said she had represented the people of Stenson Park for more than three decades and, in a statement to, added:

When I have positive news for a community I get out on the ground and let people know.  Cllr. Quinlivan seems more concerned about concocting stories for the press – I’ll leave that to him. It’s the people of Stenson Park who have elected me that I’m responsible to, not an irate councillor with a chip on his shoulder.

1888594_490942461010435_632281535_n Frankie Daly Facebook Facebook

Daly also pointed out that the budget for the lights would have come from the Department of Environment, which is headed up by Labour party minister Alan Kelly.

Limerick City Council declined to comment on the matter, but pointed out that the street lighting project in Stenson Park was outlined and planned in 2015 programme of works.

A statement added:

Representations are received from Elected Members on a wide variety of projects on a daily basis. All representations are considered in preparing annual work plans.

It’s not the first time the Quinlivan and Daly have clashed.

Last week, the Limerick Leader reported on a row over Quinlivan failing to step down from a €6,000-per-year role as chair of the council’s transport and infrastructure committee in order to allow Daly to take up the post.

Quinlivan claimed today that the deal fell apart because Daly did broke off from the Labour-Sinn Féin pact and “did his own deal with Fianna Fáil”.

Daly said he had no comment to make on it, but accused Quinlivan of reneging on his promise to step down.

Read: The curious case of Enda Kenny and the man with two pints in his hand

Read: Heard about the curious case of the missing Dáil artwork that isn’t actually missing?

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