By Owen Ryan
WITH local elections looming, Councillor Tony Mulqueen didn’t get any support from his colleagues this week, when he called for new legislation to stop people completing more than three terms, or 15 years, as a county councillor, TD or senator.
Giving their backing to such a proposal would, for many members of Clare County Council, effectively say that it would be better if they were not allowed hold their seats, so it was unsurprising that Councillor Mulqueen was the only one who voted in favour of his motion.
It was, however, seconded by Councillor Brian Meaney, who presumably wanted to hear what arguments would be put in favour of the motion but, when it came to a vote, he didn’t back the motion.
Arguing in favour of his motion, Councillor Mulqueen (who has been elected since 2009) pointed out that a President of Ireland can only be elected twice, thus only holding the office for a maximum of 14 years.
He contrasted that with councillors and TDs who, he said, can be “all their life” in office.
Councillor Mulqueen said that the current situation makes it very hard for people to get into politics.
However, during the debate, several of the members, including Christy Curtin who has been on the county council since 1979, said they were opposed and the motion was soundly defeated.