ORAL QUESTIONS. - APPOINTMENT OF TOWN CLERK IN WATERFORD.
J. MACDONAGH (Tipperary, North) to the Secretary for Local Government:—
"Whether it has come to the knowledge of the Minister of Local Government that an Alderman of the Waterford Corporation immediately on his resignation from the Aldermanship took up the position of Town Clerk?
"Is not this action by the Alderman in question and the members of the Waterford Corporation illegal? Is it not also very undesirable in view of the fact that the Waterford Corporation is composed largely of Republicans; and because the Alderman who was appointed was formerly the Sinn Fein Organiser for Waterford, and as such was responsible for the registration work in Waterford City in the Republican interest?"
He understood that when the Clean Cut with the English Local Government was made that the Dáil took over all the Acts which tended against what might be regarded as corruption. One of those Acts laid it down that a man must have resigned his position as an elected representative at least six months before taking up a paid position under the Council of which he had been a member.
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT stated that he had received no official intimation of the appointment. He had written to the Mayor of Waterford and had asked him to furnish a report on the matter. It was a moot point whether the clause governing the ineligibility of members for appointment to salaried positions under their own bodies applied to Borough Councils. He was consulting legal opinion on the matter, and would suspend judgment until then. The late Town Clerk and his predecessor had been appointed without the position being advertised. The fact that the late Town Clerk, though given every opportunity by the new Corporation to mend his ways, had proved himself utterly inefficient and neglectful of his duties disposed of any sound allegation that the man had been dismissed to make a job. The members of the Waterford Corporation felt very strongly on the matter. They had said that the man appointed was the only person who, in their opinion, could efficiently discharge the duties of Town Clerk. They had stated that if his appointment was not sanctioned their position would become intolerable. He had been unanimously appointed, and had neither wanted nor convassed for the position.