Tramore Town Councillor Blaise Hannigan’s switch from Fianna Fail to Independent status, after the party declined to nominate him to stand on its behalf in the local elections, has been hailed as a “Pauline conversion” by a fellow town councillor.

Joe Conway, also Independent, said at the Council’s May meeting that he “veritably rejoiced” (the former school principal is good with words) at Cllr Hannigan’s “conversion to the noble school of independent political thought”.

It would be reasonable to assume Cllr Conway had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek as he attempted to continue, but with Cllr Hannigan smiling with good grace, Mayor Raymond Hayden interjected to halt him in full flow. And there the matter ended.

With far more sincerity, all his colleagues paid tribute to Cllr Ben Gavin’s contribution as a town councillor for the past 15 years after the FF man, first elected as an Independent, bid adieu to life in the fast lane of local politics.