herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Looks like Lord Mayor Christy just went and done something useful

Garth Brooks. Photo: PA
Garth Brooks. Photo: PA

Why exactly do we have a Lord Mayor of Dublin?

It's a question that has puzzled many, as this ceremonial role seems to do little more than suck up taxpayers' money.

In previous years, we got a few soundbites about helping the community, and a few photocalls with the mayor's ridiculous chain of office seeming even more out of place than the models he's posing beside.

Let's be honest the Garth Brooks debacle should be a godsend.

Here is the Lord Mayor's chance to actually earn his salt, and get involved in exactly the kind of issue that he should be in charge of - a contentious problem involving Dublin's citizens and its economy.

The first signs, however, were not encouraging.

Christy Burke refused to take sides, with one eye on his self-appointed title as the voice of the "plain people of Dublin", while also trying to keep in with the council.

Mess

And in initially distancing himself from the mess, Burke announced last week that "I really haven't heard a thing. Like the rest of the nation I won't know until the City Manager makes an announcement."

The problem with this was that Burke is not like "the rest of the nation" - he is the Lord Mayor, this was exactly the kind of issue which such a role should involve fixing.

If a decision by Dublin City Council, which was greeted with condemnation by many citizens of Dublin, was something that was "out of the control" of the Lord Mayor, then the obvious question is: exactly what is the point of Christy Burke's job?

Finally, however, Burke seems to be getting directly involved, and for once putting the office of the Lord Mayor to good use.

He was yesterday rumoured to be involved in talks with all the concerned parties in an attempt to resolve the situation surrounding the concerts.

If he does manage to help pull off a solution which keeps everyone happy, Burke will have done more than just perform a miraculous juggling act, and won himself many new admirers.

He will have shown that the position of Lord Mayor is not the toothless waste of money that many believed it to be.

This is a welcome change from his initial reaction to the refusal of Dublin City Council to grant a full licence.

This showed Christy to be not only washing his hands of the situation, but also to be dispensing with the most basic grammatical concerns.

Council

Stressing his belief that the promoter should have checked with the council before announcing the five dates, Burke declared: "He should have went to the managers first."

A month ago, Christy seemed determined to alienate the population of the UK with his statement that the British royal family should not be given prominent positions at any 1916 commemoration.

So first he makes enemies of the people of England with that comment, and then he goes one further - by making an enemy of the English language.

But well done, Christy.

If the reports are accurate it looks like you've actually 'went' and done something useful.

 

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