Hopes that community fund will heal wounds in Cill Chomain

The granting of planning permission for the remaining part of the Corrib Gas project has been made subject to a condition by Mayo County Council that an €8.5 million Community Gain Investment fund be provided.

At the January meeting of the council the elected members were given a report on the progress of the project, with County manager, Peter Hynes stating that the €8.5 million proviso was “a step towards rebuilding and reuniting the community down there.”

The hope that this funding could do some good to encourage harmony in the Cill Chomain area was echoed by a number of councillors, with Fine Gael councillor Gerry Coyle stating: “I welcome this, but it should be more. But we also must accept that there are a large number of people who won’t accept anything from this funding. I’d like to see that they also be included somehow if matching funding can be got from other sources. There has been a huge division among people, neighbours, and friends there. People have stopped talking to me and they may never speak to me again. But we’ve got to make a start in healing the community, but money alone will not heal a community.”

Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway Walsh thanked the members of staff in the council for putting together the project so far, adding: “I’m sure some good will come out of this, but compared to what the people have suffered, I wouldn’t see it as compensation.”

Cllr Gerry Ginty said: “Hopefully it will bring some resources for the people of the area. But the tragedy is that good neighbours have fallen out in the area. I won’t stand in the way of this funding, even though I see it as a kind of blood money. It’s €8 billion not €8 million we should be talking about.”


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