Westport town council briefs

Civic receptions for new President and Westport judges

Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, Councillor Christy Hyland, has extended his warm congratulations on behalf of the town council to former Westport town councillor, county councillor and senator, Patrick Durcan, on his appointment as a district judge.

Fellow town councillors also congratulated Mr Durcan. Cllr Tereasa McGuire formally proposed that a civic reception be held for the two judges appointed from Westport; the second being Seamus Hughes. This was seconded by Cllr Ollie Gannon.

Cllr Brendan Mulroy also congratulated Labour councillor Keith Martin on the election of Michael D Higgins. Cllr Mulroy said that Westport should be the first town council to accord President Higgins a civic reception. This was seconded by Cllr Margaret Adams.

Antisocial behaviour in Westport will not be tolerated

Cllr Christy Hyland said that any tenant of a council house who engages in antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated in this local authority. The Fine Gael councillor said that the disruption to people’s lives will not be tolerated. “If it’s not adhered to I say put them out.”

Suicide information service

Michael Ryan from the 50/50 Phone a Friend service— an information service which bridges the gap between those needing assistance and connecting at risk people to services — addressed Westport town council at its recent meeting.

Some shocking statistics were relayed to councillors — in Ireland there is one suicide attempt every 40 minutes, with 21 suicides committed in Mayo in 2010.

According to Mr Ryan Mayo is in the top four counties for suicides. Mr Ryan said that alcohol is the primary cause of suicide, with 93 per cent of men who died of suicide having consumed alcohol.

The crisis intervention service hopes to continue tackling this community problem and highlighted the need for more State funding, as even though two and a half times more people die from suicide than on the roads, the budget for suicide prevention was only €8.7 million in 2011 in comparison to the large amount given to the RSA.

Cllr Brendan Mulroy said that as a token gesture all the councillors should take part in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training ). This was seconded by Cllr Tereasa McGuire.

Cllr Margaret Adams said the funding to this organisation could be considered at the town’s upcoming budget meeting.

Spirit of Christmas Festival

Town clerk Anne Moore said that Shop and Spraoi is to take place on December 9 and 10, with markets at the Mall and at The Clock, with food demonstrations and entertainment, and Santa will also be making his annual visit to the town.

Cllr Martin Keane gave out about the “monstrosity” of the Christmas tree at the Octagon, as people in fact want “an old fashioned tree”, however his fellow councillors did not agree.


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