Ballina councillors outraged at OPW no show

At yesterday’s meeting of the Ballina Municipal District there was serious anger directed from the councillors at the Office of Public Works. At their previous meeting the councillors had requested that the OPW attended yesterday’s meeting to address their concerns over flood defences in the Ballina area.

Director of services for the area for Mayo County Council, Paul Benson, told councillors yesterday that the council did write to the OPW to ask it to attend, but got a response saying the OPW was not in a position to come to the meeting. He also said that they had been informed by the OPW that it would send the council a list to the works that would have to be done by the OPW in relation to the flooding in the Bachelors Walk and Clare Street areas, but the OPW had failed to do so for the meeting.

Fine Gael councillor Jarlath Munnelly said that he found the response “extraordinary” and demanded that the OPW be brought before a meeting of the councillors. He said that under the new local government legislation, the council members had the right to call in public bodies for them to explain to them what they are doing in the aream and this should be used to get the OPW to appear at a few meeting.

Independent councillor Gerry Ginty said: “This is very serious, people’s lives are at risk here and we get a response like this.” Fianna Fáil councillor Annie May Reape said: “It’s an insult to us all, it’s a disgrace.”


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