An argument broke out at this week’s meeting of the Ballina Municipal District about the distribution of Community Involvement Scheme funds for 2019 in north Mayo.
Killala was selected to receive funding from the CIS in 2019 after Knockmore received it for 2018, but according to Fine Gael councillor Jarlath Munnelly, Knockmore is also due to get some of the money next year, leaving Killala with less than he believes the area should be getting.
It was agreed among councillors that Knockmore would receive the funding, along with General Municipal Allocation (GMA ), in 2018 and Killala would be the recipients in 2019.
Cllr Munnelly stated: “Killala has been earmarked as receiving the CIS next year with Knockmore getting it this year, and it’s great that Knockmore is getting it as we agreed, but according to recent correspondence I see that Knockmore has been earmarked for 2019 as well. We as councillors agreed, and I can’t remember what the sequence was for other years for the CIS, that Killala would get it next year and I was wondering is that still the case?
“Are we proposing to spend some of that money in Knockmore next year? I don’t think we should, because we didn’t say we would. The agreement was Knockmore for 2018, and I think it is getting well funded for 2018, and it would be Killala in 2019.”
Councillor Munnelly’s comments did not go down well with Independent Councillor Seamus Weir, a Knockmore native, who replied saying: “Councillor Munnelly has a problem with the Knockmore project. There was an application made for 2018, I was deeply involved myself in it. I don’t know whats happening in 2019 but that is within the department and it was agreed with the department for the safety projects in Knockmore. I don’t give two damns what angle is going to be put on this but the funding has been sanctioned by the Department.”
Both councillors continued to argue the same points for close to 20 minutes during Wednesday’s meeting before senior engineer with Mayo County Council, Teresa Durkin, informed the councillors: “There is money available in the CIS for Killala in 2019 but a supplementary application will have to be made in order to secure the same as this year. Knockmore is due to get some funding in 2019 and that application will bring Killala in line with 2018 funding.”
Councillor Munnelly was not impressed with the council’s plan. “Killala might get extra money through that application but will most likely end up with less because it is behind Knockmore in the queue and that is not what councillors agreed," he said.
New Cathaoirleach, Fianna Fail councillor Michael Smyth, exasperated with the continuous arguing between Cllrs Weir and Munnelly, threatened to adjourn the meeting if it didn’t cease, and called on his fellow councillors to agree to the supplementary application and move the meeting along.
Cllr Weir proposed that the council submit the supplementary application with Fine Gael’s John O’Hara seconding the proposal.