New MAYOR David Fitzgerald, has threatened to use the only official power available to him, beheading, in order to get the local economy up and running again.
Speaking at a meeting to mark the first new group of participants at Kilkenny Jobs Club since it faced closure, Mayor Fitzgerald said: “There is no greater priority for me than to be here and support you. The mayor has only one power apparently, the only power he has is that he can behead people, and while I’m reluctant to use it, if it is needed to get us beyond where we are now it may come into the realm in a few months time. For the moment the real power of the mayor is to lend their support and belief behind an organisation. There is no groups or organisation I want to put my shoulder to the wheel in a stronger fashion than those who are unemployed in our city at this point in time.”
The jobs club had faced closure when their original sponsor’s withdrew due to the commitment involved in running the project. The Community Services Manager for the South east, Marius Cassidy praised the work that was done by sponsors. He said that the commitment of time that the voluntary sponsors put in often goes unrecognised. “Voluntary sponsors don’t get much credit for the job that they do. They take on total responsibility for the running, the management of the funding and so on and very often that is overlooked.”
The mayor honoured the work of the committees that had worked to save the jobs club, in particular he mentioned Ken Maguire who set up a committee to oversee the changing of sponsors from the Noreside resource centre to the Fr McGrath centre. The Mayor also highlighted the work done by Tim Cha in helping to establish the jobs club in 1999.
The new sponsors of the Jobs Club the Fr McGrath centre took over the project in order to maintain services for the unemployed in Kilkenny. Director of Services with Fr McGrath centre Steve Murphy said that despite what is portrayed in the media he has never had any problems dealing with FAS. He said “I’d also like to say a very special thanks to the people of FAS In the last few years FAS have been getting their ass kicked in by the media and from our experience and perspective, we don’t know what is happening up at the top of the chain, but in our experience at the bottom of the chain, FAS employ and train tens of thousands of people. The community employment schemes in particular. No CE schems’s no Fr McGrath centre. The work FAS does on the ground has to be recognised.”