The Minister for Rural and Community Development has called on Mayo County Council to honour their commitment to provide funding for the development of Newport Hall.
Minister Michael Ring was speaking at the launch of the Newport 300 celebrations where he noted that there were problems with funding for Newport Hall. Last October Minister Ring allocated €200,000 for the development for a community centre in Newport under his department’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme. He told the gathering in Hotel Newport that he had held his side of the bargain and called on the council to do the same.
“I know there is small bit of difficulties there [with the hall] but we will try to get it over the line. I know there are councillors here tonight and I am holding the councillors to account on this. I was told six months ago if I could deliver the money for them in relation to the town and village, which I delivered, the council would honour their part of it.
“I am saying to the council that I want that commitment to be honoured. This town is entitled to have a community hall as much as any other place. I did my bit through the Leader and Town and Village Scheme and I know the council won’t be found wanting Cathaoirleach. I know you [Cllr Brendan Mulroy] and the council won’t be found wanting and I’ll give you a small bit of help,” he said to applause.
Minister Ring said people of Newport should be proud of the transformation of Newport in recent years and added it wanted to get more people living and working in the town.
“I want to get people into rural Ireland and out of Dublin. I met people here today who lived all their lives in Dublin but have moved down here and love it. That is what we want more of and by God you couldn’t get a better environment. You have the Greenway … there is no doubt about it that Greenway has been a tremendous success.
“The funding I have recently announced will develop that Greenway further into Achill and up into Ballycroy and the National Park. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have on our doorstep. This town has great potential, it has great history and great facilities and most important of all it has a great community spirit. I know this year is going to be a great year,” the Minister said.