No bye-laws on election posters can be implemented

Cllr Michael Kilcoyne

Cllr Michael Kilcoyne

There can be no bye-law implemented to ban the erection of election posters in towns before any upcoming election, it was explained this week at the Castlebar Muncipal District. Sinn Féin Cllr Joe McHale raised the issue at the December meeting of the Castlebar Muncipal District this week and he was told by the Cathaoirleach of the district Cllr Michael Kilcoyne, that he had received a letter from a council official, that a bye-law could not be implemented because national laws allowed for the erection of posters for a time period before any election and the removal of them seven days afterwards. Director of Services for Mayo County Council, John Condon told the meeting that while a bye-law could not be implemented, the candidates could agree between them not to put up posters and such agreements are in place in other towns and areas, but it is a voluntary decision to be made by individual candidates.

Pool should be open by early next year

The new swimming pool in Castlebar is hoped to be opened at some stage of the first quarter of next year. The Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Muncipal District, Cllr Michael Kilcoyne raised the issue at this weeks monthly meeting of the authority saying that they district had been given a report over 14 months ago that said it would be open by quarter two of this year.

Director of Services for Mayo County Council, Cllr John Condon responded to Cllr Kilycone saying that: "When the report was written that was the best information we had, however the contract has been slower than we would have liked there is still a certain amount of snagging to be finished. It is better have it completed properly than to take it over before it is done. The latest information is that we expect to be quarter one of 2019."

No agreement in place for Gnó Mhaigh Eo funding

No agreement is in place or could be put in place for the continuous funding of Gnó Mhaigh Eo by the local authority it was revealed this week at the December meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District. The issue of funding for the Irish language organisation was raised by Sinn Féin Cllr Joe McHale at the meeting, he was told by John Condon, Director of Services for Mayo County Council that: "The situation is like all organistaions that you fund, none of them has a supposed right to funding. We have a certain amount of funding that you have discretion as to where you give it out. We will be dealing with this early in the new year, I have requested that you get a presentation from them on the work they do so you can see." Cllr McHale responded saying that he was under the impression that an agreement had been put in place, to which Mr Condon responded saying: "There is no agreement and there could not be such an agreement because you could not know what you have each year, as an municipal district this year you did not collectively issue money, it was given by individual councillors."

Cllr Henry Kenny added that it was an mportant item — "this town was chosen as a service town and we should look very favourably on this project." In July Minister of State Joe McHugh announced a comprehensive language plan would be prepared for Castlebar as an official Gaeltacht Service Town, Gnó Mhaigh Eo, was appointed as the lead organisation to spearhead this process.

This came with a commitment of €20,000 initially to prepare the language plan, and then a further €100,000 annually over seven years to implement the plan. Combined with the annual funding committed to Gnó Mhaigh Eo by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, this would see an investment of over €1.7 million euro in the provision of Irish language services over the next seven years.

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