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‘We’re not whingeing’

‘We’re not whingeing’ - councillors tell Taoiseach

Councillors only expressing the views of the people

Edwin McGreal

Local Castlebar Town Councillors who have been critical of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s level of delivery to Castlebar in recent months have lashed out at Mr Kenny’s comment that their criticism is ‘whingeing’.
Cllr Michael Kilcoyne (Independent) told The Mayo News that any criticism he makes is on foot of representations from people in Castlebar who are disillusioned with the Fine Gael-led government.
“I’m amazed that he said that. The most reason we raise these matters is that we’ve been contacted by people who voted for him and they’ve been very disappointed by things that have been allowed to happen on his watch, while he is leader of our country.
“I’m talking about things like the downgrading of the Sacred Heart Hospital and the continued uncertainty over the future of some services at Mayo General Hospital. We don’t make up stuff.
“I was elected to ensure Castlebar gets what it is entitled to and I won’t stop campaigning until I feel that has been achieved,” said Cllr Kilcoyne.
Mr Kenny made the comments at the launch of the new €12.5 million swimming pool and National Outdoor Pursuits Centre complex at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar on Wednesday night last. He was asked if he felt it would ease some of the criticism he has been attracting from members of Castlebar Town Council.
Cllr Kilcoyne welcomed last week’s development but argued it should be the first step in a series of delivery for the town.
“The pool is to be welcomed but I do hope that all the funding required can be sought because there was no certainty over much of it. It is a positive development though but I would hope it would only be the first step in a long list of issues that people want and deserve delivery on locally,” he said.
Cllr Blackie Gavin (FF) welcomed the development but said that Enda Kenny should realise that criticism is a natural part of politics.
“When you are Taoiseach, you have to expect a bit of stick here and there. Enda Kenny is around long enough to know that. There is pressure on him to deliver for Castlebar and the pressure won’t stop until he does so. Fine Gael received a massive endorsement in this constituency in the last general election when they won four seats and they have to fulfil the promises they made.
“Up to now that’s not happening in the county town, but the provision of a new indoor swimming pool in a good start,” said Cllr Gavin.
However Mayor of Castlebar, Cllr Eugene McCormack, a Fine Gael colleague of the Taoiseach’s, said that Castlebar and Mayo was doing well under the Fine Gael government and would continue to do so.
“I get the feeling that a lot of places around the country are looking on enviously at what is happening in Mayo. You have last week’s announcement, the extension of the Greenway to Islandeady, the jobs in Allergan to name just three things.
“What people around here need to remember is that Enda Kenny is only in power fifteen months and people shouldn’t be expecting miracles in that space of time, especially with the poor state of the public finances.
“I’m fully convinced that Castlebar will get everything it is entitled to by the time Enda Kenny is finished his tenure in office. People need to remember too that he is Taoiseach for the entire country, not just Taoiseach of Castlebar,” said Mayor McCormack.

HAVE YOUR SAY email edwinmcgreal@mayonews.ie with your comments