The issue of flashing neon signs and topless men outside tattoo parlours brought the January meeting of Athlone Municipal District to a close on Monday night.
Under AOB, Mayor of Athlone Frankie Keena raised the issue of flashing neon signs on Church Street.
Insisting he had no issue with people who get tattoos, the Fianna Fáil councillor joked that the neon signs outside the tattoo parlour in the centre of the town were so big there was no need for Christmas lights.
He added that he had recently walked past the establishment when a man, who was getting a tattoo, was standing outside with no top on. “Is this the image we want to have?” Cllr Keena asked.
Fellow Fianna Fáil councillor Aengus O’Rourke was in agreement that the town had an issue with “honky tonk” and “gaudy” signage that some businesses had started using in the town.
Councillors asked the executive if anything could be done to stop the “free for all” signage.
In response, director of services, Barry Kehoe said that all signage in the town needs to have planning permission - admitting that if signs go up it’s up to the council to ensure they adhere to regulations.
Mr Kehoe said that although there was a staff issue in the planning department at the moment they were assigning an officer to deal with such issues as illegal signage.
“We need to continuously monitor signage in the town,” he added.