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Gone in 32 seconds


Edwin McGreal

The kettle was barely boiled for the pre-meeting tea and coffee when the first council meeting of the year in Mayo was over.
Just 32 seconds was all it took West Mayo councillors to wrap up the Special Meeting at Westport Civic Offices, surely some kind of record?
Council meetings are not known for their efficiency so last Wednesday was all the more remarkable.
Last Wednesday’s Special Meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District of Mayo County Council was a single item agenda – to discuss a material contravention of the Westport town development plan.
The application was for a development at the rear of the Wyatt Hotel, The Octagon, Westport. The development consists of a three-storey extension to the hotel, comprising of 21 bedrooms and nine car park spaces, ancillary accommodation and works.
No councillor was in the mood for hanging around for a long discussion or debate. There were no objections, the meeting merely a rubber stamping process. Still, a quorum had to be reached too. Six of the seven area councillors were present.
“This will be over in 30 seconds,” Cllr Brendan Mulroy (FF) told us on the way in. He could not have been much closer.
Cathaoirleach Michael Holmes opened the meeting with a few New Year wishes. Indeed, that was the longest part of the meeting. He then started outlining the single item but before he was even finished, Cllr Mulroy proposed it and in a heartbeat Cllr Tereasa McGuire seconded it. No councillor dissented.
“Right, well that’s that then, I guess we’re finished,” said Cllr Holmes, after all of 32 seconds.
Hopefully this might be a New Year’s resolution by councillors to have shorter council meetings. But we think it more likely be a one hit wonder.


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