The former Fine Gael city councillor and first ever woman Mayor of Waterford, Mary O’Halloran, said this week that newspaper and radio reports about her 2008 visit to New York had created a false impression that was ‘most unfair, hurtful and deeply upsetting’. A perception had emerged that she and her husband, Tony, might have taken a holiday in New York and charged it up to the City Council when nothing could be further from the truth.
“The truth of the matter is that I was on an official Mayoral visit to New York following an invitation extended by Waterford Crystal and the only thing unusual is that a clerical error on the part of somebody in City Hall meant that the visit wasn’t entered on the list for the monthly council meeting as is the practice with all visits, attendances at conferences, etc.
“If the trip had been entered on the list, as it should have been, the local government auditor would not have had a problem with it. But I also think that when the auditor noticed that a mayoral trip had taken place without it appearing on the documentation for a monthly meeting, it should have been pointed out to him that a clerical error had occurred and that I had been on an official visit”, she said.
Speaking to The Munster Express, Ms O’Halloran explained the background to the visit that involved her and her husband attending the Waterford Crystal New Year’s Eve function in Times Square. But, first of all, she said she was deeply upset by reports in sections of the media that she was being ‘pursued’ by the City Council for the cost of the visit which came to €7,200. “To say that I was being ‘pursued’ suggests that I was running away and that the local authority was chasing me or somehow trying to catch up with me to recoup a sum of money. It simply isn’t true”, she insisted.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.