TheLiberty is a local paper for Dublin's south inner city

February 2001

Robes back in civic use

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MEMBERS of Dublin Corporation will retain the use of their ceremonial robes for civic occasions after a motion by Marino Councillor Mr Finian McGrath was defeated at February's meeting of Dublin City Council.

In a highly animated debate, Cllr McGrath suggested the Corporation should "investigate the case for replacing the royal robes with more appropriate clothes for a modern democratic and inclusive city".

Labour's Cllr Eric Byrne said the debate about the robes illustrated why the Corporation was "a laughing stock" with a majority of the general public. "Look at the public gallery here tonight," said Cllr Byrne. "Those empty seats say it all. The turn-outs at the last few elections illustrate just how little that we do in these chambers, matters to the outside world."

Party colleague Cllr John Gallagher said, "I was born and raised in the Coombe and it's far from robes that I was reared. Clothes don't make the man.

"Judges and senior counsel should also consider removing their robes. Appearing in court can be a very traumatic experience and for some people, the sight of a man or a woman in black robes can make the whole thing even more frightening."