Co. Council Diary 13/07/16 : the chronicle.ie

Co. Council Diary 13/07/16

| July 13, 2016

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When taking cannabis is like eating the grape but not drinking the wine

A man called Adrian Hogan sat in the public gallery at Monday’s July meeting of the Co. Council. Nothing unusual in that but he received a special welcome from the Chairman, Paddy Kavanagh, which was a bit unusual.

Paddy told the meeting that Mr Hogan, a Limerick man who recently who recently retired was now in the process of attending a meeting of every Co. Council in the country and collecting a letter from each Chairman recording his attendance.

He intended to put all the letters together in a time capsule to be opened by his relatives at some long distant date.

A rather unusual adventure for anyone to set out on and one wonders what affect all these meetings will have on the man ‘s state of mind.

He probably left the Wexford Chamber on a bit of a high as cannabis was top of the agenda. With one of the councillors wearing a ‘legalise medical cannabis’  tee shirt  and the three other members of the public who had seats in the gallery similarly attired, Mr Hogan was probably mildly surprised that the dominant issue in local government in Wexford is cannabis and its uses.

But given the high profile the drug was receiving at the meeting he was provably equally surprised that so many councillors publicly declared how little they knew about it..

Not qualified to make a decision on that, declared Larry O’Brien, ‘I know nothing about it’ said Robbie Ireton and so it went on.

Bringing the issue to the agenda was People Before Profit Councillor, Deirdre Wadding.

She wanted the Council to call on the Minister for Health and all relevant agencies to immediately make available medical cannabis by legislating to legalise cannabis for medical use ‘in light of the growing body of evidence with regard to the efficacy of this treatment for a number of conditions’

Cllr. Wadding sort of guessed that this might be a bit of a hard sell to some of her colleagues so, despite what her motion said ,she told her colleagues that it wasn’t really legalising cannabis at all. It was just one of the components in the Cannabis which she wanted to legalise to help people who suffer in terrible pain but could get relief if this was legalised.

To illustrate the point for those less knowledgeable than herself on these matters she explained it was like eating a grape but not drinking the wine.

And her argument initially seemed to be getting traction with Malcolm Byrne, Davy Hynes and George Lawler all indicating support for what she was trying to do.

Then in stepped Larry O’Brien, declaring that he had no letters after his name which would qualify him to make a decision on the matter and he wasn’t wearing the tee shirt either, he added.

Then Keith Doyle spoke about the issue not being black and white, Tony Dempsey had reservations and John Hegarty said Deirdre appeared to be suggesting that the medical remedy she was talking about didn’t involve cannabis at all. ‘I am not familiar with cannabis ‘ said Robbie Ireton.

Lisa McDonald, making her debut in the Chamber backed Deirdre’s call. But on her first day back  following a decade long absence she found herself in a minority with the majoityr of councillors deciding that they lacked knowledge and if cannabis was to be provided to people on medical grounds it would take people with greater expertise than them to make the decision. So the matter is to be sent to the health Forum for consideration.

 

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Gateway Scheme delivers jobs

The community and social employment schemes, including Gateway, which have drawn strong criticism from many public representatives on the left and which have now been abandoned following trade union objections have proven to be an outstanding success for people who took up positions on the schemes as part of Wexford Col. Council’s outdoor staff.

With the Council currently recruiting additional staff it has been revealed that all the twenty four people who have reached the final stages of the interview process came through either Gateway or a Community Employment Scheme. There were a total of ninety nine applications for the positions.

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Congrats for hurlers

Members of Wexford Co. Council have congratulated the County’s Senior Hurlers on their win over Cork. Councillor Larry O’Brien said a week earlier people had been on radio calling for the sacking of Liam Dunne but now he was ‘a great fella’

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McDonald takes her seat

Lisa McDonald took her seat at the July meeting of the Co. Council. She fills the vacancy caused by the death of Fergie Kehoe in April.

She was proposed by Councillor Tony Dempsey and seconded by Michael Sheehan.

Cllr. McDonald said she was taking her position with mixed feelings given the very sad circumstances which surrounded the vacancy.

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Restore Child Payments

Members of the Co. Council have voted unanimously to call on the Social Protection Minister to restore  the One Parent Family payment in respect of all dependent children of school going age which was cut by the previous government.

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SF praise for Minister

A Sinn Fein councillor has praised the Minister for Justice for the implementation of Part 4 of the Charities Act which enables the Charity Regulator to carry out statutory investigations on Charities.

Cllr Johnny Mythen had a motion before Monday’s Co. Council meeting called on the Minister to take the action but before he could move it she had already implemented that part of the act.

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