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Mayo funding will be restored - Ring

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COUNCIL HAVE A JOB TO DO Mayo Fine Gael TD, Michael RIng.

TD says fault for loss of government funding lies solely with Mayo County Council


Oisín McGovern

MAYO TD Michael Ring has said there is ‘no doubt’ that Mayo will be once again be able to access the funds currently being withheld by the Government in the wake of the recent greenway funding scandal.
Deputy Ring told The Mayo News that Mayo County Council will be able to regain ‘some of the funding’ lost because of the Greenway funding scandal.
The local authority is currently being denied access to five different funding schemes due to an ongoing audit by the department of the Department of Rural Affairs and Community Development.
Mayo County Council was forced to hand back €1.2 million to the department last year after it emerged it had drawn down funding for several projects that were incomplete, or which had not even started.
“I have been negotiating on behalf of Mayo County Council as well,” Deputy Ring said. “A pathway has been drawn up for them now, they know what they have to do. When they do that I have no doubt that some of that funding will be restored to Mayo.
“They have a job to do. We’re supposed to have that information from the department in May … When they get that report to the department, when the minister and the department are satisfied and that everything is in order, I have no doubt that we will be getting our funding back.”
Massive losses
Deputy Ring could not guarantee the council would receive more funding than the amount that was lost.
Mayo County Councillor Peter Flynn has estimated that Mayo has lost between €5 million and €8 million because of the Greenway funding scandal.
Ring said that the fault for the loss of government funding lay solely with Mayo County Council.
The Fine Gael TD was the Minister for Rural and Community Development when funding was first allocated for the ill-fated Great Western Greenway.
“We will get some of the funding that we lost, we might not get it all, we will get some of it and it will be compensated in the future. But all I would say is this should never have happened,” Deputy Ring stated.
“I should say it to them very honestly, let them spend the bloody money they got first, and then we’ll see what we can give them after that.
“There is no point giving them more money. We gave them loads of money and they didn’t spend it.
“We need them to spend the money and get the work done that they have to do. When they have that money spent, Mayo will not be left behind.”