Last week, I mention in this column that it was a pity the Freedom of the City had never been conferred on Val Doonican but, at least in his case, it was a simple case of omission. However, there is much embarrassment and not a little anger up the road in Kilkenny at present over a snub delivered by the City Council last week to the retired Labour TD and Dail Ceann Comhairle, Seamus Pattison.
Extremely popular and respected across the political divide, Mr. Pattison diligently represented Carlow-Kilkenny in Dail Eireann as TD and Ceann Comhairle for 46 years and, believing it had the unanimous support of the City Council, the Labour Party arranged for one of its councillors, Councillor Marie Fitzpatrick, to nominate Mr. Pattision for the Freedom of the City and the proposal was seconded by Councillor Andrew McGuinness of Fianna Fail.
Imagine, then, the consternation when the votes were counted and it was discovered that two unidentified members of the Council had voted against the proposal. According to Labour Party sources, Mr. Pattison will not allow his name to be put forward again even if all twelve votes were guaranteed.