Castlebar town councillor Harry Barrett has called on Mayo county councillors, and in particular the Fine Gael representatives, to use Section 140 of the Local Government Act to force the county manager to use an insurance windfall to complete the long awaited repairs on the bridge at Turlough, Castlebar. Cllr Barrett made his call after learning that councillors can force the council management to carry out these works under Section 140 once they can provide the money. And an insurance windfall of €160,000 which will be coming to the local authority from its insurers, the Irish Public Bodies (IPB ), and which is not included in the annual budget, would fund the works according to the Labour councillor.
The announcement in relation to these monies was made at the recent Annual General Meeting of the Irish Public Bodies, the body that insures most of the local authorities and VECs across the State. It announced that for the first time in its history the IPB will be paying a dividend to its members.
Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser Cllr Barrett explained: “I am now calling on councillors to use Section 140 of the Local Government Act to force the County Manager to use this money for the purpose of repairing the bridge. Section 140 directs the council to carry out a particular function, where monies can be provided. I've shown where the monies can be found. All that's needed now is the will to do it by councillors.”
Cllr Barrett continued: “This is money that is extra to the annual budget and I want it put aside to complete this bridge. I, like many other councillors, have had calls from locals who have been discommoded for over two years and more by the long round trips that have to be made to access their properties. There has been no action on this bridge and something must be done about it. The money is there and should be appointed to this essential project immediately.”