Fianna Fáil councillor Margaret Adams has been elected as the new Cathaoirleach of the Westport Electoral Area. At the meeting on Monday, Cllr Adams was proposed by Fine Gael councillor Austin Francis O’Malley and seconded by Cllr Michael McLaughlin.
Cllr Adams thanked her proposer and seconder and said that she “will do the best I can for everybody and be fair in the chair”.
Work needs to be done on N59
Cllr Adams said that she along with a couple of other councillors attended a meeting in Carrabaun in relation to the N59 road and the concerns that local residents have about safety on the road, as it is too dangerous to walk or cycle on it. The councillor asked that walkway facilities be placed along the road and that perhaps Smarter Travel money could be used for this. Cllr Adams said that this work it is a “matter of life and death” and said that work needs to be fast-tracked.
Cllr Peter Flynn agreed that it is a matter of life and death on this road and he asked that at least a route for a walkway be identified as soon as possible. Cllr Austin Francis O’Malley said that locals needs to be engaged with and put in the picture and Cllr John O’Malley agreed that it is not safe enough to walk on the road. New Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, Cllr Michael McLaughlin said that an undertaking needs to be given to people so that they know that there is a plan.
Director of services, Martin Keating said that last year it was indicated that there would be some linkage provided from the Greenway to both the Leenane and Ballinrobe roads which would be completed under Smarter Travel, however he said that this would not be delivered until the end of the project. Mr Keating said that people need to be mindful that Smarter Travel is a five year project with this only being year two of the project and everything can not be achieved in two years. The director of services will have a more detailed review at another meeting of possible routes.
12 Blue Flag beaches
Cllr Michael McLaughlin said that 12 is a great number of Blue Flag beaches to have in the area but said that it should be marketed more. Cllr Peter Flynn also asked what the situation was as regards the maintenance of toilets at the beaches at the weekend.
Mr Keating said that a pilot programme promoting beaches in the area will take place in August at Old Head and Keem beaches, where practical demonstrations will be given by service providers so people can try out activities such as snorkelling and kayaking.
Mr Keating added that there is weekend cover to service the toilets once a day at Blue Flag Beaches.