The June meeting of Mayo County Conucil took place this week, catch up with what was being discussed by the councillors.
Tributes to councillor's late wife
The June meeting of Mayo County Council heard numerous tributes to the late Pauline Murray, nee Lavin, wife of Charlestown based Sinn Féin councillor, Gerry Murray. The elected members and officials also held a minute's silence in her honour at the meeting. Sympathies were expressed to Cllr Murray and his daughters Michelle and Majella from all sides of the house and from council management.
New chief executive welcomed by councillors
The newly installed chief executive of Mayo County Council, Kevin Kelly, was given a warm welcome from councillors as he attended his first meeting of the local authority since being appointed to the position. Mr Kelly was wished well in his role by councillors from all sides of the house and there were tributes also paid to council director of finance, Peter Duggan, for his leadership of the local authority on an interim basis over the past year, which was one of the most challenging years in the council's history due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Kelly takes over the position as full-time chief executive following the retirement of the former chief executive, Peter Hynes, last year.
Councillors adopt roadside memorial bye-laws
The elected members of Mayo County Council have adopted new bye-laws to govern roadside memorials in the county. The council's Roads Strategic Policy Committee (SPC ) had already approved the new bye-laws and sent them forward to the full council for approval. Director of Services for Mayo County Council told the meeting that: "I want to thank the members of the SPC, as this is a very emotive and sensitive issue around the whole area of roadside memorials. The desire or the need to erect a roadside memorial is due to a terrible tragedy having being visited upon a family. It is something we are very much aware of and sensitive of and have taken a number of viewpoints into consideration. In relation to the policy it has been formulated to provide an open and transparent process, whereby the needs of all sides are represented. It is important to note, in general the policy will not impact on existing memorials erected by the public, however, if there is a need to either replace a memorial that currently exists due to damage etc, then the replacement memorial must comply with the current policy." The bye-laws were proposed by Fianna Fáil Cllr Damien Ryan (chair of the Roads SPC ) and seconded by Cllr John O'Malley (Ind ).
Gavin looks for update on Lough Lannagh masterplan
Castlebar based Fianna Fáil councillor Blackie Gavin has called on Mayo County Council to give an update on the masterplan for the Lough Lannagh area of the town. Speaking at the June meeting of the council, Cllr Gavin said: "What is the update on the plan for the area and the purchase of lands? I know the best money has ever spent in the area has been spent there. We need to drive this forward, otherwise we will be left behind; other towns are moving fast on providing facilities and we need to move or we'll be left behind; it will be a big gamechanger for Castlebar." Responding to Cllr Gavin, chief executive of Mayo County Council, Kevin Kelly, said: "I hope to look at those facilities in the next two weeks and then I will be discussing with the team the various proposals and future around that with a view to moving things on."
Rates waiver until quarter three welcomed
Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Loftus, welcomed the announcement by government of the extension of the commercial rates waiver until the third quarter of the year for business - at the June meeting of Mayo County Council. He also asked how much had the council collected in rates from those businesses who were still paying rates this year. Head of finance for Mayo County Council, Peter Duggan, said: "In response to Cllr Loftus, I want to echo my thanks to the central government for extending the rates waiver into the third quarter of this year, certainly a huge relief for a lot of our rate payers. In the year to date we would have collected about €12.5 million in rates and I want to thank all rate payers for working with us."
Ballina MD is Siberia of Mayo County Council says Loftus
Cllr Michael Loftus has described Ballina Municipal District as the 'Siberia of Mayo County Council'. Speaking at the June meeting of the authority, he stated: "If I look at the overall manager's report I am extremely disappointed; it looks like Ballina is the Siberia of Mayo County Council. If you look at the roads programme section there is not one mention of roads in the Ballina Municipal Area. I'm just quite conscious of the fact that we don't have any major road programme in it and it is a bit disappointing. The only other time it is mentioned is in relation to staff having gone out to the vaccine centre, and the Red Bull (cliff diving event which is coming to Downpatrick Head ). But I see no other mention at all of the Ballina Municipal Area and that is disappointing." Responding to Cllr Loftus, director of services for Mayo County Council, Tom Gilligan said: "There is in relation to directorate highlights, there is a motion on the n26 and N59 Ballina bypass phase one to progress to route options in quarter four of 2021; there is also mention in relation to the climate adaptation allocations for Mayo, there is €1.5 million, which was an excellent allocation and I know there were a couple of schemes in Crossmolina that were specially mentioned on that - we have a page in which to try and put information in. Ballina is by no means left out in this report or any report to the members."
Cruise calls on council to step to help Browne museum
Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise has asked Mayo County Council management to put together a meeting to see what can be done in regards to securing the future of the Admiral Browne Museum in Foxford. Speaking at the June meeting of Mayo County Council, Cllr Cruise said: "An incident that has happened in Foxford in the last week, is a direct result of Covid-19. A number of you have been down at a number of events hosted by the Admiral Browne society in conjunction with Mayo County Council in welcoming our Argentinian visitors and various ambassadors from Argentina in Foxford but sad to say, the museum had to close in Foxford. I wanted to make the people here aware of that. I would like if management, if we could have a meeting pretty soon about that. It is a thing that Foxford and the county is famous for. we are twinned with a province in Argentina and it would be a shame to let this very important tie for our county die with such important developments as this - it is through no fault of the Admiral Browne society, but it is sad to say they ran out of road financially to keep the museum going. I would like to have a meeting about this and sort something out. " Fianna Fáil councillor Brendan Mulroy supported his colleague from the other side of the house, saying: "I support this 100 per cent, I saw first hand during my year as Cathaoirleach what it meant to the Admiral Browne Society in Foxford and what it meant to the Argentinians who come over here to visit. It is an emotional area for them, particularly now that we have the former Argentinian ambassador buried there. It is important that this council would lead out and follow on from what Cllr Cruise has said and whatever finances are needed, to make sure they are in place. We can't be speaking out both sides of our mouth and need to make sure that the money is there. The society is a credit to Foxford and Mayo."