Council meeting in prayer debacle

Following controversy in Kerry over the placing of a crucifix in the council chamber, another holy row has erupted in the new Limerick City and County Council.

A standing orders committee formed in the 40-member authority has been given the priority task of coming up with a recommendation on prayer at meetings.

Traditionally the former Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council meetings commenced with a prayer. But some members of the new council want the practice to cease.

The Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council, Kevin Sheahan, has decided that until the matter is sorted out, meetings will commence with members standing in silence.

Mr Sheahan said: “In the old Limerick County Council we always got things under way by standing for a prayer. But after the first meeting of the new city and county council at the University of Limerick, I was approached by two new members who said they did not agree with the practice. A standing orders committee has now been formed and one of the first items on their agenda will be whether the prayer should be continued.

“If the council decide to continue by commencing meetings with a prayer, then members who do not agree will have the opportunity to stand outside.

“The councillors who are objecting to the prayer felt it was kind of sprung on them at the first meeting. The council members will be balloted on the matter.”


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