Despite each member of the Ballina Electoral Area Committee to get behind and work towards getting a satisfactory solution to the current impasse on the N26 from Ballina, the issue once again became a game of political tick for tack at the Ballina Electoral Area Committee.
Cllr Eddie Staunton complimented Dep Michelle Mulherin on securing funding for a new feasibility study on the route for the road; he said this was something positive and concrete. He was supported by his Fine Gael colleague Cllr John O’Hara, who replaced Dep Mulherin on the council after her election to the Dáil last year.
However, Fianna Fáil Cllr Annie May Reape hit back at the congratulations being given by other members saying, “I don’t agree with my colleagues, we sent a delegation from the roads SPC to meet with the NRA recently and the chairperson of the committee, Cllr Jarlath Munnelly, came back from there saying that the NRA were very positive towards using the majority of the route that was already planned. Now we have news of a different feasibility study on a route and the costs that will go with it. I say less talk and more tar is what’s needed.”
Cllr Staunton retorted that this was something positive and real that would happen, while Cllr Reape told the meeting that the N26 had been used a political football for long enough by former members of the council.
Chairperson of the committee, Cllr Seamus Weir, called for all the members to get behind the project as everyone needed to work together from all political sides to get this much needed road back on the agenda and moving again.