Minister and Mayor in war of words over plaza lights

Minister of State Sean Sherlock’s decision to open an online petition to turn off the traffic lights on the civic plaza in Mallow has attracted the ire of County Mayor Cllr John Paul O’Shea, who said one could be forgiven for thinking it was a publicity stunt for the forthcoming general election, but the minister hit back this week, saying that “I’m backing the people on this one.”

The mayor’s comments followed a letter to the editor in the

Mallow Star issue of Thursday last, where Minister Sherlock claimed that the traffic lights were deterring people from coming into the town, and he had set up the online petition to show the local authority the level of public anger on the issue.

In a response this week, Mayor O’Shea said the ministers’s proposal was one of the most dis-ingenuous suggestions he had heard in a long time. He continued, “Is Minister Sherlock suggesting that the lights be turned off for good, and the pedestrians coming from St Joseph’s Road, Spa, Bridge Street and bottom of the town be left to cross [the road] without any level of safety? Surely not!

“It might be more worthwhile if Minister Sherlock concentrated his energies on securing fund-ing for the badly-needed Mallow bypass, which has been lurking on government shelves for decades,” he said.

In response, the minister said that the mayor was taking the management side, while “I’m with the people on this one.”

At the time of going to press, Minister Sherlock’s petition at www.sean

had attracted 312 signatures.