An Athlone County Councillor says the town has "gone backwards" after it was agreed to reintroduce a prayer before meetings.
Westmeath councillors agreed yesterday that before their monthly meeting in Athlone, they will pray together.
The Green Party's Louise Heavin feels it's doesn't represent all of the communities they've been elected by- she's suggested opening the meeting with a minute's silence instead.
But Fine Gael's John Dolan says you can't include everyone and a prayer will cause no harm.
Cllr. Dolan says "it's a nice way to start the meeting, whatever takes part in the meeting and whatever row we'll have during it, it's a nice way to start the meeting and clear the air."
While Cllr. Heavin says, "I think this idea that it causes no harm and sure it's ok isn't exactly where we should be in society. We should be looking not just at voters but minorities in our society and welcoming them."