Killarney mayor Tom Doherty said ‘small steps’ are being taken to deal with the vexed issue, but some councillors are unhappy with progress, especially on the fitting of sanitary devices to horse-drawn cars to keep manure off the streets.
Independent councillor Niall O’Callaghan is not satisfied with a report from Mr Doherty of a meeting the mayor and other officials held recently with jarvey representatives, which arose from warnings of a crackdown by town manager Tom Curran.
Mr O’Callaghan demanded details of what happened and if anything had been done about getting an apparatus that would make the streets more hygienic. He asked if a timeline had been set for progress.
A circumspect Mr Doherty refused to give details, but said he was very happy with the discussions and a working group was being set up.
“There was movement forward and small steps were taken towards resolving issues,” Mr Doherty said.
Independent councillor Donal Grady intervened to say that a veterinary surgeon had already given the council an opinion that such an apparatus would be unsafe.
At this stage, Mr Callaghan raised the issue of a conflict of interest and code of ethics. He questioned whether Mr Grady should be involved in any discussion relating to jarveys as members of his family were involved in the business. There were angry exchanges between the two councillors, but Mr Grady remained at the meeting. Mr Grady said afterwards he himself was no longer involved in the business.
Meanwhile, a warning from Killarney town manager Tom Curran that he would prosecute jarveys if they continued to break bylaws still stands. He said it was no longer acceptable to have horse manure on the streets of the tourist town.
Stressing the time had come for action, Mr Curran said that despite several requests and the supply of a number of sanitary devices to be tried out by jarveys, there appeared to be an “unwillingness amongst the jarveys to move on and improve their image”.
Mr Curran said some jarveys ignored the bylaws, by operating without licences and driving through prohibited streets, and asked the council to introduce a new by-law to deal with the street soiling issue.