Labour Party Castlebar town councillor Harry Barrett has this week responded to an article in last week’s edition of the Mayo Advertiser, where Fine Gael councillor Brendan Heneghan accused Cllr Barrett of using negative tactics in the debate about unemployment and job creation in the town.
Cllr Barrett said this week: "I am very surprised by the councillor's outburst. However, I will continue with my campaign, or tactics, as the article suggests, until Castlebar receives its fair share of investment by IDA sponsored industries and until 1,000 new production jobs are located in this town.”
Cllr Barrett, who is contesting the upcoming county council elections in the newly expanded Castlebar area, said he is doing what the people asked him to do when he was elected to the council in 2009. "I will continue to speak out as a councillor, because the people have asked me to do my job and raise the issue. The town is crying out for new jobs, and they want the massive political power available in this town to deliver them. It is totally unacceptable to me that we have more political power than any town in Ireland, yet we are being ignored in terms of jobs provision by the Government. Attacking me is a case of shooting the messenger.”
Cllr Barrett did say that he was worried that Cllr Heneghan was involved in an incident after a recent council function, but he was more concerned with the plight of families in the town. “However, I am concerned that he was ‘virtually assaulted’ after a late night ‘council function’. Sadly, this is part of the reality of being a councillor today. However, I am far more concerned with the effects of not having work on families in Castlebar struggling to pay their bills, and businesses facing an uphill battle to stay open because of lack of any new money from work, coming into town. They need me to speak out loud and clear on this, and I'll continue to do so, undaunted by background noise.”