McDonnell says Green Party councillors’ votes are holding back Galway’s progression

A former Mayor of Galway has strongly criticised the Green Party members on Galway City Council — accusing them of not having the best interests of the people of Galway at heart.

Independent Councillor Declan McDonnell said that a series of actions taken by the two Green Party city councillors, Martina O’Connor and Niall Murphy, had led him to question what they really stood for.

“For instance, they were the only two councillors who wanted to increase the rate of property tax in the city next year by 15% when we met in September in advance of drawing up the City Council budget for 2023.

“They have constantly tried to stop the building of a ring road that is vital to the future of the city. They say it will increase air pollution, but the reality is that it will reduce it as journey times will be shortened and commuters won’t be sitting in their cars inching along in bumper-to-bumper traffic,” said Cllr McDonnell

“Then they were part of the ruling pact on the City Council who voted down a plan by the officials to spend €240,000 on a fleet of electric vehicles . . . a strange move from a party that makes supporting environment such a major plank.

“They voted against the pedestrian bridge over the River Corrib beside the cathedral.

“And to cap it all off, the Green Party duo also voted against allowing a small number of people build a house on their family land in special circumstances.

“In one of those cases, a woman with three children living 30 miles away wanted to build a family house on family-owned land in Menlo, and in another we proposed that a Castlegar family whose three houses are scheduled to be demolished for the ring road be allowed to build replacement homes on nearby family land if the road went ahead.”

Councillor McDonnell said that the Greens on the City Council appeared to be more intent on opposing things than contributing anything to the progression of the city.

“I am beginning to struggle to see what they actually stand for. We are all in favour of protecting the environment, but we also need to plan ahead for the future growth of the city, make sure it does not become stagnant economically, and that we have enough housing to accommodate the people of a growing city.

“As far as I can see, the Greens are against everything and failing to come up with ideas that would actually help the city and its people.

“They are doing no favours to Galway, either locally or nationally, with their Senator, Pauline O’Reilly, spearheading the challenge to the ring road, when we are the only city in the country without a ring road, resulting in the people of Knocknacarra, for instance, with a population of 16,000, and anyone in Barna or further west, having to travel through the city to get to the other side.

“I have to ask, do the Green Party really care at all about Galway or are they just intent to driving home a very narrow agenda regardless of the consequences for the people of this city?” added Cllr McDonnell.


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