As the shenanigans surrounding the Metal Man continue unabated I more and more feel I would like the Metal Man left alone. Weekends and bank holidays are a nightmare. The place is rife with walkers who wander around the middle of the road, children in tow, staring at the sky. How I have not had to scrape a family off my car yet I know not. If more people start wandering around I may have to take drastic action and invest in a power hose. Then again the proposed trail may be the very thing that keeps them off the road and so I feel its is necessary to stick my oar in again at least to update my readers.
First of all the Tramore Town Council voted to agree to the transfer of the pillars five votes to four in what was apparently very heated meeting. Councillor N0.1 who, I guess you all know now, is Cllr. Maxine Keoghan, has indicated that she will to continue her fight to stop Tramore Heritage Ltd. receiving the pillars.
The vote is good news for Tramore Tourism and Tramore Heritage Ltd. however attacks on them continue both verbally and in the local press.
The FaceBook page, font of so much misinformation, has been deleted, also good news.
Regarding my post last week, a seemingly minor point. The word ‘Battle’ in the title was deemed by some as overkill but I think its important to point out here that this debacle is doing a lot of damage to individuals and to our community. Besides, you have to admit, it’s a bloody good title…
I have had mostly good feedback but one comment to the effect the post was unbalanced. Hmm. In the course of writing I edited out a lot of swear words and unhelpful pictures from my post and replaced them with compliments and scenes of rural peace. All for nought it seems. I have been revealed as just another person with an opinion. Damn.
Two weeks ago I had no allegiance to anyone and I did not know the principals except as vague names in the ether. What I want is what is best for Westown and for me because I live here. I did try to remain unemotional in my post but I did, as stated, develop some views, which is why I actually wrote the thing in the first place so yes actually I suppose in that sense it is unbalanced 😛
I provided information that led me to my conclusion but left out out anything that I deemed superflous or was uncorroborated and/or unecessarily detrimental to individuals personally for the sake of brevity and to avoid spreading gossip.
But, to be clearer, the conclusion I reached was that if what Cllr Keoghan wanted came to pass and the pillars somehow passed to the County Council to be leased to a private company, then the private company the Cllr set up (Tramore Cultural Developments Ltd.) might end up being the one to whom the County Council leased the pillars.
Whether that was the conscious intention of the Cllr or not is neither here nor there. I believed that scenario was possible given the Cllrs stated concern for and connection to the pillars, her urging for the pillars to be leased to a private company and the fact that she seemed not to want Tramore Heritage Ltd to be that company. She certainly didn’t nominate Tramore Heritage even though they were, to her mind, a private company and how could her company refuse an offer to take care of the pillars down the line if there was no other suitable company around?
Me, I do not believe any private company limited by shares, vulnerable to takeover by an individual, should have control of a public amenity and I would not be willing to risk that happening even by accident.
There are of course different interpretations of the Cllrs actions. Cllr. Keoghans setting up of a company in the months prior to starting a campaign to stop Tramore Heritage Ltd. from receiving the pillars may have been unconnected. It could just be an unfortunate juxtaposition of events and she could well have resolved never to take up such an offer from the County Council in the future.
I still remain at a loss as to why the Cllrs concerns weren’t raised earlier but there could be a perfectly good reason for the delay and I just haven’t heard it yet.
I know Cllr Keoghan was involved at the start of this important project and made sure she remained in the loop, which I think does back up her claims that she has Tramores interests at heart. She and two other Councillors were at a meeting which went into Tramore Heritages plans in detail in November 2011.
I have been told by Tramore Heritage that they met with Tramore Cultural Developments (not at this point registered) in February 2012 and co-operation on a local heritage plan based on work already done was agreed. What has happened to change that I do not know and I have not heard Tramore Cultural Developments take on things.
Meanwhile the whole public/private company debate chugs on. I think that some people, in referring to Tramore Heritage as private, probably mean that the board is made up of private individuals rather than people with public posts which though true has helped confuse the issue as it is not the legal definition of that company. The legal definition is that they are public. They are also non-profit.
I have concluded that Tramore Heritage, a public company, is the best option we have right now to save the community money while opening up the site. You don’t have to agree with this but for now the project has been given the green light and will hopefully not be held up again though one never knows.
Since the vote another issue has been raised by Cllr Anne Marie Power who also voted against approving the transfer and that is that people may have to pay to go to the Metal Man. Well, Duh! I don’t know what Tramore Heritage plan in regards to this, I haven’t asked (I believe they intend to get project funding from Failte Ireland) but surely a small charge would alleviate demands on the public purse?Its not going to cost nothing to develop and maintain this site. Right now you can’t go on the site even for a million squids(then again for a million squids I’d carry you across the field myself…)
Many sites in the public domain have charges most specifically the sites managed by the Office of Public Works. It has been asked why the OPW can’t take over, I myself would love that, it would solve a lot of problems. They would most likely charge but anyway I imagine that the same holds true for the OPW as it does for the County Council. No dosh. I could be wrong, feel free to go and find out.
Regarding the heritage trails, it has been suggested elsewhere that instead of the silliness of having two planned heritage trails along the bay as is the current situation, the two parties share the project. This would seem like a good idea and I suspect in fact that was what was originally happening anyway until the kibosh was put on the proceedings. It seems pointless to waste community resources and time on overlapping projects. Some copping on needs to be effected methinks.
As to Tramore Heritage, its clear they need to answer more questions regarding their plans and they have expressed willingness to do so. They need to make it abundantly clear that they cannot sell the pillars, that they cannot be seized as collateral, that they cannot make personal profit from them. I don’t think they can do any of these things but many people do seem to think that and those people need solid proof.
Anyhoo, here’s is a link to a press release from Tramore Heritage which includes basic company information
Tramore Heritage have said they will be calling a public meeting in the near future and that the Metal Man project is very much open to public input so if you are curious about them at all I would suggest you attend and ask the questions that need to be asked. You can also become involved so when they or anyone else turn out to be the sons of the devil you can be there to stop them.
Hell you could make an event out of it, break their legs and throw them off the cliffs like the Vikings used to do. I’m sure they are feeling a bit like they have been fecked off a cliff right now anyway. It could be called a re-enactment, charge a fiver a head. Job done. OK, that’s a joke and not a suggestion folks.
I again urge you to gather your own information where and when you can. Attacking people as has been happening is useless. Question your councillors, contact Tramore Tourism and Tramore Heritage (you’ll find them online at least) and quiz them. They want you to.
For now I have raised enough questions for people to ask and maybe a public forum will be called to clear the air. Cllr Keoghan has, as been said elsewhere, fought vigorously on this issue and intends to continue to do so, kudos to her energy, she may be the one to do get this forum going. That hopefully is my last post on this for a while. Until next time keep in by de wall. I mean it.