IN one of his last public roles before he retires in a couple of weeks, Joe Beirne long-standing County Engineer, and more recently acting Town Manager in Westport, and Director of Services, addressed last week’s AGM of Westport Tidy Towns with quite a bang.
He gave an unusual and very honest take on the importance of Tidy Towns, saying there was a time he couldn’t understand all the fuss and emphasis some of his fellow senior colleagues in Mayo County Council placed on the competition in Westport. Anyone at the busy meeting last Thursday who didn’t know the Roscommon native beforehand, certainly won’t be forgetting his parting words.
“I was a bit of a cynic. Hynes [Peter, former Westport Town Manager and current County Manager] was running amok with flower baskets everywhere in Westport, and as an engineer I used to wonder about this and if the money could be utilised elsewhere. We used to have water shortages to deal with, but not when it came to watering flowers in Westport. Some of us used to wonder at this and it got to the stage that I remember one day the poet Reidy [Ger Reidy, fellow Mayo County Council Engineer] said to me that if you walked up Bridge Street in Westport and got an erection it’d be okay, because somebody would hang a flower basket on it!”
After the laughter had died down, Joe did commend the Westport Tidy Towns Committee and volunteers, and Pat O’Donnell and Allergan, saying that both organisations had brought such great news and prosperity to Westport and were easy for the council to work with.
“It is easy to get on in a town where the community and organisations work so well together,” he said.