THE fact that all Tullamore Town Councillors did not receive tickets for US President Barack Obama’s recent visit to the county was an issue for debate at Thursday’s Town Council meeting.
Cllr Tony McCormack said the fact that elected representatives in Offaly did not receive tickets ‘was the wrong way to react’.
He said as Chair of the Chandler-Tullamore Twinning Committee, he wanted to be there. He said he heard that a public house in Tullamore was advertising on facebook to bring people by bus, yet councillors could not get tickets.
Cllr Sean O’Brien said that as public representatives of the county town, they should have been there. “That was the feeling of business people,” he added.
Meanwhile Cllr Brendan Killeavy said he disagreed as it was most important to give passes to the people in Moneygall. “The people should have got them first.”
Cllr Sinead Dooley said she was surprised about the restriction on tickets and thought there would have been an adequate number to bring elected representatives. She suggested writing to the County Manager and Director of Services Sean Murray over the matter.
“Offaly County Council were not masters of our own destiny over the issue of tickets,” said Director of Services Declan Kirrane. He said a lot of it was done by the White House and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Decisions on the ticket situation were changing from week to week. Offaly County Council was left in a difficult situation. It managed to do as fair a job as possible for the event,” concluded Mr Kirrane.