Cashel Urban District Council
The Cashel Urban District Council have, produced a most interesting report on its work over the period 1979-85. The review was compiled by acting Town Clerk, David Coleman, and its outline and comprehensiveness are a credit to him. (The Town Clerk, Mr. C. Connolly, has been absent on sick leave for about two years as a result of a road accident) The work extends to thirty six pages and costs £1.25. Every citizen of the town of Cashel should have a copy.
The early part of the book gives an historical account of the Ancient Corporation of Cashel and of the buildings of historical interest within the town. The account of the Corporation might have been more detailed and reference might have been made to the reasons for the parliamentary disfranctiisement of the town in 1870. In this section there is a footnote on the Croke memorial, 'which will be of interest to those interested in monuments restoration. On 9-2-82 the Croke Memorial was hit by a truck and a trailer, causing serious damage. The Council proceeded to recoup the cost of replacing the Memorial from the truck owner's insurers and the work of recreating the Monument was placed with Roe and O'Neill Ltd., Sculptors, Co. Dubl!n. An experienced sculptor, Cliodhna Cussen, is in charge of the work and it is expected that the new Croke Memorial will be re-erected in approximately its former position this year.
The extent of the Council's housing stock is impressive. !n all the Council has two hundred and, three rented houses and eighty one under tenant purchase agreement. Interestingly, in Cathal Brugha Street twenty houses are rented and fourteen are under tenant purchase. The corresponding figures for Oliver Plunkett Park are forty-eight and twelve respectively. Under Road Transportation and Safety we are told that the total road milage in Cashel is approximately 10.7K, including all main roads, side streets, laneways, etc. Would you believe it. The new carpark at the Rock cost £60,000 in 1980 while the second one off Friar Street cost £167,000. No breakdown of the latter figure is given.
Like all financial reports this one is a bit difficult to make out. With the trees of different headings it is hard to make out the wood of total income and expenditure. How much does it cost to run the services provided by the Council? How much does it cost to pay its staff of fourteen and to run its offices? Where does it get its income? The nearest we get to answers to these questions is in the income and expenditure diagrams on page thirty two. According to it the Council gets 72% of its income from central Government, 22% from local charges and 6% from rates. However, on page six, we are told that the total rateable valuation in the town is £10,086.65 and the rate in the £ for 1985 is £20.60. This should amount to an income of over £200,000, which in turn must be more than 6% of Council incomel It is this kind of unclearness that makes the information in the report inadequate. Also, whereas the report states that the people have been good in paying the local charges we are not told what percentage has paid.
Under Miscellaneous the review tells us about, the reconstruction of the City Hall between 1978-80. A pity that piece didn't tell us something of the history of the building and its development from the old Shambles. Also, under this heading we are told that the Council gave seven Civic Receptions since 1980, when the President of the Federal Republic' of West Germany, Dr. Carstens, was given one.
In a final Section the report lists the chairmen of the U.D.C. since 1900. In that year Michael Devitt was elected and he was elected eight times altogether. Far and away the most impressive record is that of Francis Phillips, who was first elected to the chair in 1922 and lastly in 1949. In all he was chairman on twenty one occasions and that figure included eight times in a row between 1922-29 and nine times in a row between 1935 and 1943. Bringing up second place for the number of times he held the office is Paddy O'Brien with nine and that included four in a row between 1957-60. In all there have been thirty different chairmen between 1900 and1985.
In addition to the above mentioned criticisms there are a, couple of more of this report. There are too many printer's errors, which are obviously the result of sloppy proof reading. The quality of the pictures leaves a lot to be desired. Part of the blame may rest with the printer, whose name isn't given. But overall, it is an attractive production with the Arms of Cashel on the cover. The report is a good beginning and we look forward to an improved edition when the life of the present Council comes to an end.
Post Advertiser, Sept. 18, 1985, Vol. 1 No. 5