Independent Councillor Frank Durcan has called for the acting county manager Joe Beirne to consider his position after he accused him of benefiting from the change of a junction on the Pontoon/Turlough Road in Castlebar. Cllr Durcan alleged to a meeting of Mayo County Council that Mr Beirne had not fulfilled his duties in disclosing his interests in a property in the area where the works were being carried out. The property Cllr Durcan referred to is the premises where Mr Beirne’s wife carries out her business.
Cllr Durcan told the meeting that Mr Beirne’s wife’s practice benefited by having eight car parking spaces being created outside her business by the new junction and that Mr Beirne had never filed the proper declarations of interest with the relevant authority. Mr Beirne rejected the claim and told Cllr Durcan that all relevant documents have been registered and were in the county secretary’s office. Cllr Durcan raised the issue at the annual budget meeting of Mayo County Council held last Monday morning when the issue of roads was being discussed by the councillors.
However at the monthly meeting of the council, which was held later that afternoon, county secretary John Condon replied in full to Cllr Durcan’s allegations. Mr Condon told the meeting: “The manager has complied with the law, he has filed his returns with the register and while the councillor referred to a section of law there is a difference between reading the Act and understanding the Act. The project was decided by another manager and he had no need to disclose it. I think the councillor should withdraw his allegation.” Cllr Durcan refused to withdraw his allegation and told the meeting, “This isn’t going to finish here today, we will let another forum decide on the matter”.