Tempers frayed at a meeting of Castlebar Town Council this week during a discussion on the recent visit by two members of IDA management to the town which included a tour around the old Volex and APC plants, conducted in the company of Mayor Eugene McCormack and councillors Ger Deere and Brendan Heneghan.
Cllr Deere told the meeting that the visit had been arranged by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and he represented the Taoiseach on the day, while Cllr McCormack as the Mayor was invited, and Cllr Heneghan was nominated by the Chamber of Commerce to attend on its behalf. Cllr Deere said it was arranged by the Taoiseach and he will not apologise for the visit taking place.
Cllr Michael Kilcoyne told the meeting: “I believe that all of the nine councillors should have been able to put their case across, this was done on behalf of Fine Gael not the council. I want to be clear that I’m all in favour of job creation but everyone should have been invited.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Blackie Gavin rose to his feet, stating: “What annoys me is that if I was the mayor, I would have invited everybody. The IDA should have come here to us and laid out a plan and agenda and we should all have gone around. This was a PR stunt by Fine Gael, we are here trying to create jobs, it’s disgraceful what is going on. There is nothing happening in Castlebar [in relation to major job creation], it’s a serious crisis.”
Independent councillor Frank Durcan hit out saying: “It’s not up to the IDA where jobs go, it’s up to the Government, they work for them and the Government tell them what to do. The one major stumbling block for any major industry coming to Castlebar is the fact we don’t have the electricity supply that we need for modern major industry.”