Fine Gael councillor Pádraig Conneely has condemned a proposal by City Hall to upgrade its civic reception area as “daft”.
City Hall is proposing to improve and upgrade its civic reception area for visiting dignitaries. The proposed works would cost €500,000 and would be carried out as part of the council’s three year capital programme.
Cllr Conneely has called the proposal “daft” and believes it is aimed at extending the local authority buildings on College Road. He said this is unnecessary as there are 12 vacant rooms in City Hall and that these should not be lying unused.
He was also critical of the council for leasing rooms in the adjacent Grammar School for use by certain departments while the other rooms lie vacant.
However the Mayor of Galway Cllr Declan McDonnell said Cllr Conneely is mistaken in his views. He said the proposal is not for an extension to the council buildings but simply to improve the civic reception area.
Mayor McDonnell also pointed out that the vacant rooms are the result of staff having to be laid off earlier this year. He said the rooms are spread throughout the three floors of City Hall, and are not in one location. Because of their dispersed nature the rooms cannot be used to house a council department, nor are they suitable for use as reception areas.
Mayor McDonnell said City Hall is renting rooms in the Grammar School but that this began “long before the downturn” and before any staff had to be laid off. He also said that leases had been signed and could not be reneged upon.