Municipal District Briefs

News from local authority meetings

Welcome for funding for Castlebar projects 

There was a warm welcome for the recent announcement of a number of major multi-million euro investments in projects in Castlebar, including the old Imperial Hotel and old Post Office, with particular praise paid to the council officials who put together the submissions for funding, by the elected members of the Castlebar Municipal District at their monthly meeting this week. Before the meeting got underway, Cathaoirleach of the district, Councillor Blackie Gavin, welcomed the investment, which all the councillors welcomed. However, Cllr Michael Kilcoyne said that he was a bit disappointed with the funding for the Military Barracks project in the town, saying that while the €2.5 million announced was welcome, it would take a similar allocation each year for the next 40 years to see the project funded in the manner it had been envisioned.

Illegal dumping must be stamped out says councillor

Fianna Fáil councillor Damien Ryan told the recent meeting of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District that illegal dumping was 'getting out of control' and he asked for the council's environment section to address the next meeting of the district. He received support from across the chamber with councillors calling for greater levels of enforcement, with Cllr Michael Burke saying that ‘hardly a month goes by that you don’t have a number of complaints,’ While Cllr Gerry Murray said that dealing with the issue was taking up an enormous amount of time and resources for the council.

O'Malley wants toilets on the Greenway

Independent Councillor Johno O'Malley has requested that toilets be installed along the Great Western Greenway at a number of locations. The councillor raised the issue at the March meeting of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District which took place this week. He was informed by council officials that toilets had been in place at some locations and was asked to supply details of where he thought there were pressure points and where they would be needed.

Kilcoyne says council should get their engineers to design tunnel for HSE

Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne has suggested that Mayo County Council should offer their engineers to design a tunnel linking the new modular unit installed at Mayo University Hospital to the main hospital building. He told the Castlebar Municipal District meeting which took place this week, that the HSE said they can't put a covered in walkway from the new modular unit to the hospital, that it is not possible to do it engineering-wise and he asked the manager of the district to write to the HSE, that the Mayo County Council engineers would do it for them and the council should put their resources at their disposal. Fine Gael Cllr Cyril Burke raised the issue of delays for people waiting to access services at the hospital on foot of a number of representations from constituents. Cllr Kilcoyne said he has raised the issues at the hospital on numerous occasions and that he had got a letter from a patient who was wheeled between the A&E building and the new Covid unit with the rain beating down on them at 2am. After that, he said he had attended a meeting with the management of the hospital and they told him it was a once-off incident and would not happen again, but Cllr Kilcoyne went on to say, as he was walking away from the meeting to the car park, he saw the exact same thing happening in the lashing rain.

Dog fouling problem needs to be cleaned up in Charlestown 

Sinn Féin councillor Gerry Murray has asked Mayo County Council to take a stand against dog fouling in Charlestown. Cllr Murray told a recent meeting of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District that there was a ‘huge problem’ with dog fouling in the town and asked for the council to put up warning signs to try and get people to stop. He added that the issue had ‘multiplied since the start of the pandemic.’

N5 well on schedule, councillors informed 

The elected members of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District were informed this week that the new N5 road from Westport to Turlough was well on target to be completed on schedule, if not before. The councillors were given a presentation on the progress of the project which included drone footage of the route of the road which will go around Westport town before linking up with the Newport road. The scheduled date for completion of the project is October 22.

Drone surveys to be used on Ellison Street and Main Street buildings in Castlebar 

Mayo County Council will be carrying out a drone survey on roofs and buildings along Ellison Street and Main Street in Castlebar in the coming weeks to see are any dangers identified. Independent Cllr Michael Kilcoyne raised the issue at a the monthly meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District which took place this week, following the recent falling of debris from a rooftop. Head of the district for Mayo County Council, Iarla Moran, told the meeting that: "What we did with the dangerous building on Ellison Street was looked at it with a drop survey before we did the works on it; what we will do is carry out a visual survey on the premises on Ellison Street and Main Street to see can we identify any risks on that that."

Valuation process for imposing of derelict site levies underway 

Mayo County Council's environment section is in the the process of carrying out valuations on derelict sites at the moment with a view to imposing levies on them. Head of the Castlebar Municipal District, Iarla Moran, told the monthly meeting of the district this week that the environment section of the council had completed a series of valuations to impose levies in the Ballina area and would be imposing the levies this month and would be following that up with valuations in the Castlebar area, with levies expected to be imposed by quarter two of the year in the area.

Covert CCTV cameras destroyed or stolen 

Mayo County Council has had five mobile CCTV cameras that they had installed as part of illegal dumping investigations - destroyed or stolen - according to a report that was put before the recent Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District meeting. The report informed members that the council currently has 15 cameras for such use and they were moved to new locations every 12 weeks.

Knock housing redevelopment welcomed 

The elected members of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District have given a warm welcome to the news that 25 houses owned by Knock Shrine will be upgraded. The members were told that the Shrine was currently in the process of getting approval to become an approved housing body and they had got approval to upgrade the homes to a B2 energy rating. The homes were initially built in the mid 1980s and had been occupied by elderly people, but most of them have lain vacant for a period of time.

No roadworks at Christmas - Cribben 

Fine Gael Cllr John Cribben has called for roadworks not to take place in town centres at Christmas time in the future. He raised the issue at the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District’s recent meeting, saying that a roadworks in Ballyhaunis last December had caused serious issues for businesses and shoppers. Cllr Cribben said that a local business had planned a pre-Christmas promotion but when staff came in to get ready that morning, they found that roadworks were underway outside the premises. While it wasn’t Mayo County Council that was carrying out the works on the day, he requested that the council put forward that all works of this nature be stopped by December 1 to allow businesses to make the most of the crucial pre-Christmas trade.

Cyclists causing concern for Burke along walkway 

Fine Gael Ballinrobe based councillor Michael Burke has asked Mayo County Council to take action against some cyclists using the Bowers Walk in the town. He told a recent meeting of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District that the amenity was for walking and not cycling and he had been informed by a local senior citizen that he was walking along the walk and three men went by him on bicycles and he feared that he was going to have to step into the river to get out of their way. Cllr Burke asked the council to look into the issue, as the walking path is used by hundreds of people every day.

Tourmakeady ambush to be commemorated

The 100th anniversary of the Tourmakeady Ambush during the War of Independence which took place on May 3, 1921, will be commemorated by Mayo County Council. Fianna Fáil Cllr Damien Ryan put forward a motion to the recent meeting of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District calling for the council to commemorate it. The motion received the support of the other elected members and council officials said an event would be organised and would comply with the restrictions in place at the time of the commemoration.

Ballinrobe burial ground debate deferred

The elected members of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District agreed to defer for a month an item on their most recent agenda in relation to a new burial ground in Ballinrobe. Cllr Damien Ryan proposed the deferment to allow more discussions on the issue. The proposal would see the development of a new burial ground on a 2.7 hectare site at Ballinaya, about 2km from the town.


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