Minor Kilmaine project causes political row

Fianna Fáil councillor Damien Ryan has hit out at being denied an opportunity to contribute funding for improvement works that will be carried out in Kilmaine village. Cllr Ryan raised the issue at the Claremorris Electoral Area Committee meeting this Wednesday when he objected to what he saw as the breaking of “a gentleman’s agreement” on joint funding of the project, he told the Mayo Advertiser yesterday.

The improvement works itself is a small project in the square in the village, which is used for parking, where there will be enhancement works carried out including some resurfacing. The total cost of the works will only be in the region of €8,000, but the allocation of the full amount of the money for the works by Fine Gael councillor Patsy O’Brien upset Cllr Ryan, who had committed to providing €2,500 for the project along with a number of other councillors including Fine Gael councillor Michael Burke.

Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser on Thursday, Cllr Ryan said: “We had an understanding that each of the councillors was going to contribute money for this project. It was a once off project that the director of services allowed us to fund from our notice of motion allocation. I’d set aside €2,500 for my contribution and told the people in Kilmaine I’d done so. Then I hear on local radio that one man [Cllr O’Brien] has allocated the full amount of the money. We had a gentleman’s agreement on this project and I expected it to be kept.”

However according to Cllr O’Brien this was a project he had pushed for himself and had been given the go ahead to do so by the council. “The community there came to me and I said that I’d provide the money if the council let me do it and they did so I allocated the money. I had been making the case for this work to be done strongly for a long period, and because it was a roads project the council gave the go ahead for the work to be done out of the notice of motion allocation.”

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