Fianna Fáil whip for Mayo County Council, Cllr Michéal McNamara this week hit out at the newly slimed down Údarás na Gaeltachta. The council had an item on its agenda to nominate a member to the Údarás. The majority party in the council, Fine Gael nominated Ian McAndrew to the position.
Under the new Gaeltacht act that was passed this summer, the direct elections to authority was scrapped, with the numbers on the board being reduced from 20 to 12, with seven people being nominated by the minister with responsibility for the Gaeltacht and the other five being nominated by the county councils with Gaeltacht areas.
Cllr McNamara told the meeting: “This bill was rushed through the Dáil in July. Since Údarás was established the people of the Gaeltacht areas have always had the right to have their say on who is on it. I still feel there should be direct elections to it. They could have held the elections on the same day as the next local elections if it they wanted to.”
However, Fine Gael Cllr Henry Kenny hit back saying: “The elections were supposed to have been held over 18 months ago, but the then Fianna Fáil Minister Ó Cuiv at the time postponed them.”