Updated: 30/04/13 : 05:21:39
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Borough Council runs meeting in three minutes plus

Special Report


THE STOPWATCH clocked at three minutes and twenty four seconds from start to finish line of the April meeting of Sligo Borough Council last night, Monday.

Enough time to bring an egg to the boil but not near good enough on the stopwatch to match Roger Bannister running a mile.

Meeting? No agenda. No Minutes. No debate. Not even a prayer to officially kick off the proceedings. A lot didn't happen inside three minutes.

This Council would not seem to have a prayer itself in its hope(s) that the executive will return any time soon.

''Nothing to consider'' was the pithy epithet the Mayor of Sligo David Cawley offered as we (or was it they?) prepared to ride off into the setting sun last night.

The Council is waiting on a letter from the County Manager.

'Waiting' is a weighty word in literature - ''we wait and the time is short, but waiting is long.'' A bad omen, should the Council ever get to consider the context of that couplet.

Brief Tribute

The nearest we got to poetry last night was a brief tribute to the late Grainne Yeats, harpist and widow of the son of WB Yeats.

Borough Council members agreed unanimously last night to ''adjourn'' until their May meeting on Monday May 13th.

The original proposal last night was to ''adjourn sine die,'' ie without fixing a day or date for its next meeting.

That proposal was offered by the Mayor David Cawley and seconded by Rosaleen O'Grady.

However, it was quickly changed and agreed when Veronica Cawley queried the ''sine die'' aspect.

Stand-Off

The respite is being allowed ''for the Mayor to consider legal correspondence yet to be received from the County Manager,'' said the Motion.

The legal status of the meeting -- and the Motion -- remains unclear.

Meanwhile, week nine of the stand-off between the Council and the executive commences this morning, Tuesday.

The origins of that stand-off have been well documented. Sligo Today 5/3/2013 and 25/4/2013.

Term of Office

Given that the Mayor has not chaired a meeting since February a quarter of his term of office has how expired without 'business as usual.'

The lights still burned in the Mayor's Parlour last night an hour after the official proceedings had ceased.

In one of those surreal moments that only Life can produce a member of the public crossed the road outside carrying a case with a violin, presumably, inside.

Would the woman play a stirring aubade or even a gentle farewell concerto under the Mayor's window?

Nifty Mover

She came and went quickly. Another nifty mover in the street was Fine Gael TD and ex Borough Council member Tony McLoughlin making his way into the local hostelry.

There remains legal doubt about the two Borough Council meetings summoned by the Mayor in April and held without executives present.

The first of those Borough Council meetings on April 8th lasted six minutes. After three weeks that had halved to three minutes plus on the stopwatch.

Low Hum

There was an eerie low hum after last night's meeting officially ended.

Nobody left initially -- councillors, Press or public.

Then Veronica Cawley sallied outside and returned with papers in her hand.

Still, the eerie low hum remained in the council chamber.

Then the council members withdrew, promptly. Then the public, then the Press.

The elected members headed for the Mayor's Parlour but the quietness of it all hinted that it might as easily have been a funeral parlour.

One of the few things that looked 'normal' last night was that an attendance sheet was passed around for 11 members to sign.

Jim McGarry of Labour was the only one of twelve councillors not present.

Finally, the Mayor thanked the councillor and the members of the Press for their attendance.

But again, the members of the public, attending since 2007, were ignored. Ah, normal at last.