Sinn Féin county councillor Gerry Murray has expressed concern about the future of Mayo County Council’s local area office in Swinford following proposals by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael that would see the Swinford Office losing a large chunk of it’s hinterland to either Castlebar or Claremorris. Cllr Murray said the proposals made to the local boundary commission by both parties seriously compromise and undermine the future of local government in Swinford and may ultimately lead to the closure of the local area office.
Cllr Murray stated “It was disappointing to see that neither Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael in their submissions to the boundary commission did not undertake an analysis as to how their proposals would impact on the viability of the local area office in Swinford. In excess of 50 outdoor and indoor staff operate from the office. The proposals by both parties also discriminate against people in the general Charlestown area who would be denied fair and equitable access to local Government services. Both parties seem to be blissfully oblivious to the implications of their proposals for both council staff and local constituents.”
Cllr Murray also took issues with the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael submissions which stated that Charlestown had a natural affinity to Claremorris rather that Swinford, stating that anyone with a basic knowledge of geography and commerce would know different. Cllr Murray concluded. “I’m sure it will not be lost on the electorate of the Swinford area, that at a time of a major economic crisis, with high unemployment and emigrations, that the two major parties in this county are engaged in a game of parish pump shenanigans with no regard for the consequences this will have for jobs and local government services”
The Sinn Féin Cllr outlined that under the Fine Gael prospsal The electoral divisions of Doocastle (population 377 ), Cloonmore (492 ), Kilbeagh (1,078 ), Sonnagh (1,124 ), Kilkelly (958 ), Kilmovee (687 ), Urlaur (543 ) and Aughmore (626 ) to be transferred from the Swinford electoral area to the Claremorris Municipal Authority and Sraheen (1,189 ), to be transferred to the Ballina Municipal Authority. While under the Fianna FAIL Proposal: The electoral divisions of Doocastle (population 377 ), Cloonmore (492 ), Kilbeagh (1,078 ), Sonnagh (1,124 ), Kilkelly (958 ), Kilmovee (687 ), Urlaur (543 ) and Aughmore (626 ) Brackloon (386 ) to be transferred from the Swinford electoral area to the Claremorris Municipal Authority