The stand-off between a number of agencies in regard to which is responsible for putting in a footpath between Scoil Naomh Bhríde in Ballycroy and the village centre, was raised by Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway-Walsh at the West Mayo Municipal District this week. Cllr Conway-Walsh called on Mayo County Council to write to the NRA to get it to provide the footpath on the busy road.
Who is responsible for the footpath to be constructed is an issue that has caused some major debate. Director of services for Mayo County Council, Martin Keating, told the meeting that the construction of the footpath was a requirement of the planning permission for the construction of the school, so the responsibility lay with the board of management of the school and the Department of Education. However Cllr Conway-Walsh told the meeting that the board of management contacted the Department of Education and was told that ‘under no circumstances’ was it to construct the footpath as it was outside the boundary wall of the school. The reasons given were that there would be public liability insurance implications and the school was only responsible for the area inside the boundary wall.
Cllr Conway-Walsh also told the meeting that a similar situation arose with a school in Cork and the council had to build a footpath as it was deemed unrealistic to expect the Department to pay for a public footpath. The members of the municipal district agreed to write to the NRA on the issue to try to get a resolution.