Frank, we're very glad to have you aboard... our sinking ship
'I AM sure Rita is very proud of you, looking down.' Johnny Mythen's reference to Frank O'Connor's late wife picked out the emotional undercurrent running beneath the first meeting of Enniscorthy Town Council after the summer break.
Fianna Fáil's Keith Doyle delved back into the memory banks to the days when he lived in Island Road as a child above the shop run by his father, the late Andy Doyle. The premises were used for Labour party meetings attended by both his dad and the newly nominated councillor.
'I would roll back the carpet and listen through the cracks,' Keith Doyle recalled, saying how delighted he was to see Frank O'Connor in the chamber. 'You were a very good friend of my father.'
Jackser Owens reckoned that Cllr O'Connor had been the effective leader of the Labour party in Enniscorthy for a very long time. It took James Browne to hit a glum note and point out that he will not be long a public representative as 'the Urban' will be wound up next year.
'Welcome to a sinking ship,' said James. 'Glad to have you aboard.' John O'Rourke was warm in his welcome, adding a plea from one Ross Roader to another that the new arrival would not steal his thunder.
This was probably not what Tom Moorehouse had in mind when he chipped in with a warning that the council chamber is not the place to vent party politics. He added the revelation that Frank O'Connor is his brother-in-law.
Like a groom who starts his speech at the wedding reception 'my wife and I', the latest recruit took great satisfaction in kicking off his to all the kind words with the phrase 'fellow councillors'.
He told those fellow councillors how he was very proud to represent his party on the council but stressed that his arrival was a sad occasion.
As he pointed out, he was replacing the deceased Pat Cody whom he described as a very good friend of his.
He was also reminded that he was following in the footsteps of the late Andy Doyle, who he reckoned was 50 years ahead of his time.
Sean Óg Doyle hopped a gentle ball in his direction, pointing out that the council will be no more after next summer, thanks to a decision of a Government of which Frank's party is a component.
The new man seemed to agree that there should be a role for the Urban as he said that people like Seán Óg do not get the recognition they deserve.
The last word fell to town manager Tony Larkin: 'I know Frank will be a great addition to the council.'