There was anger among the elected members of the West Mayo Municipal District this week when it emerged that a senior member of the council's management team in the area was to be moved to a new position in the council, and the councillors had not been told officially of the change. The Mayo Advertiser understands that on Wednesday night a meeting of councillors from across the county took place, which was attended by 70 per cent of the elected councillors and they made a decision to request the holding of a special meeting of the council to discuss issues such as this.
The cathaoirleach of the district, Cllr Christy Hyland, said that it had not been communicated through official channels that Martin Keating, who had previously worked as the acting director of services for the area, would be moving to the council's environment section. There has been a long running issue with the councillors and the council management over the appointment of senior officials to positions in the county, with the councillors looking for a director of services in the council to be maintained in each of the four Municipal Districts in the county.
Cllr Hyland said that he didn't like what was going on in relation to the moves and that each area should have a director of services, and that Westport and West Mayo was losing someone who had great experience in a number of areas. Mr Keating's work in relation to the Croagh Patrick Working Group in bringing together all the stakeholders in the region was singled out as one of the major achievements he had been involved with.
Newly elected Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway Walsh, who was attending her final meeting on Monday last as a councillor before she was elected to the upper house of the Oireachtas on Tuesday, also supported Cllr Hyland's views. "I find that some of the decisions being made in Mayo County Council perplexing and I think Martin Keating is a casualty of some of the decisions made," she said.
Tributes were paid to the work that Mr Keating had done in the area by the councillors present at the meeting. Mr Keating thanked the councillors who spoke at the meeting for their kind words and said it was a "privilege" to have worked in all the roles he had in the west Mayo area.