As members of Limerick City and County Council plan to vote on the practice of saying a prayer before meetings, chairman Kevin Sheahan revealed he has commissioned a crucifix to erect in the chamber.
He asked a wood turner in East Limerick to make a 4ft cross of Irish oak.
Mr Sheahan said he makes no apology for planning to place a crucifix in the new council chamber.
He said: “I am a baptised Catholic. I wouldn’t be the strongest Catholic in my community — the very opposite, actually. I am a sinner and I am not a regular churchgoer. I have my beliefs and I have visited Jerusalem twice and that, more than anything in my life, made a huge impression on me. It is my own private religion if you like. I have great devotion to the Cross.
“It is my intention to present the cross to the new 40-member council to be placed in County Hall where our full meetings will be held, as soon as the chamber has been refurbished. This Christian symbol in a Christian country will be erected there, that’s my intention.
“But if the councillors vote not to have it put up, then I won’t do it.”
He added: “But I would hope to have the support of the majority of the councillors.”
He said if the council so wish, they can put the cross into a box but he hopes a majority will back him.
Mr Sheahan said there will be a vote on the prayer.
“We will have a vote on whether there will be a silent prayer, or a prayer read out, or whether they want to abolish the prayer and I sincerely hope that wouldn’t happen,” he said.
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