I have been photographing grottos in Cork for a page on the website. I did spot mention of one on Cork City Council website where they outline councillor questions and the Manager’s response. Since I read the question to the City Manager, I have had a vision floating around what passes for my brain.
Picture the scene.
An office in City Hall – the old section with the timber glazed partitions and not the fancy new section. The next Council meeting is only a week away.
Two City Council officials- Mary and Anne - are dealing with the written questions submitted by the Councillors.
Anne: Yeah but with us, it is same rubbish but different month. Imagine if the Council meetings were any more frequent. I don’t think I could deal with any more of these questions.
Mary: The thing is they probably know the answer anyway but want to be able to show some constituent that they have asked the question and it is not their fault.
Anne: Come here, have you seen this question from Sean Martin.
Mary: No, not yet. What does it say.
Anne: Well the knowledgeable Councillor wants to know ‘When will the Grotto and Muriel in Corporation Buildings be fully restored to its former splendour?’
Mary: Typical. Doesn’t he know that that budget is well used up.
Anne: No, Mary. He called it a Muriel.
Mary: Yeah, that’s right. It is behind Dennehy’s pub on the Coalquay and it is painted on the wall.
Mary: But that is how we pronounce it in Cork. It is a Muriel.
Anne: Mary, I am sorry to be the person to break this to you but just because that is how it is done in Cork does not always make it right. But whatever about pronouncing the word, he has actually spelled it as M-U-R-I-E-L. We will have to change that when we type up the question.
Mary: But we cannot change any Councillor’s submission – it is totally against the rules. You know that. Sure, everyone will know it as a Muriel anyway.
Anne: Well he might want to call it a Muriel but the City Manager will not thank us if the response says Muriel.
Mary: So what are you going to say?
Anne: What about ‘The Feasibility of providing a replacement mural will be investigated and costed over the coming weeks and a further response will be issued at that stage.’. Maybe when he reads the response or even when he reads the minutes on the internet, he might realise for future reference that it is a mural.
Mary: I wouldn’t bet on it. Let’s move on to the next question…..
The sentences in italics are a true record from City Council website. The rest is just my imagination.