The community group which represents many people on Tory Island has issued a statement in a bid to clarify the circumstances surrounding a vote on the island’s ferry service.
The Comharchumann Thoraí Teo held a vote at the Tory Island Day Centre on Saturday last between 1-3.
They were asked to do this by Pól O’ Gallchóir who was appointed as mediator between Roinn na Gaeltachta, Comharchumann Thoraí and Realt na Maidne Teo over the ongoing Ferry dispute.
The vote was to determine the stance the island residents had with his list of recommendations which has now been approved by Roinn na Gaeltachta.
Following a public meeting and a heated debate in the social club on 23/03/18 at 7.00 p.m. it was agreed that the following could vote:
• Full time residents on the island.
• Mainland residents in possession of a house on the island were entitled to 1 vote per house.
• Phone-call votes accepted by island residents provided their identity is confirmed.
A statement issued on behalf of Comharchumann Thoraí Teo said that in the chaos of the voting there was a lot of confusion over the mainland vote.
A spokesperson said “A lot of people became extremely agitated and insisted on being given a vote which left the committee and the manager in an extremely uncomfortable situation.”
An account was kept of all Island resident votes and other votes and the following results were calculated:
Agreeing to Pól Ó Gallchóir’s proposal: 67
Disagreeing to Pól Ó Gallchóir’s proposal: 53
There was 1 abstention.
Agreeing to Pól Ó Gallchóir’s proposal: 45
Disagreeing to Pól Ó Gallchóir’s proposal: 50
The statement adds that it was stated recently on social media that no count was kept of the voters.
“This is totally untrue and the totals were tallied at the end and this dispute was resolved.
“At the end of the day it is us the permanent residence of Tory Island that will suffer the consequences good or bad going forward.
“Therefore, we feel that we should determine our own futures and any future votes should be island residence only.”
The statement adds that at the meeting on Friday night it was clearly pointed out that the vote was simply agreeing or disagreeing with Pól O’ Gallchóir’s recommendations.
“It was not whether we accepted the Queen Of Aran or not. The Queen of Aran was always coming on the 1st of April no matter which way we voted. There was a general feeling of acceptance at the meeting on Friday night.
“There has been a lot of chat on social media saying that the Tory Community were saying yes to the Queen Of Aran and this is untrue.
“We simply voted in agreement with the recommendations on Pól O Gallchóir’s report which meant that we have agreed to a second service which means we now have the choice to use the Queen of Aran or the second fast ferry. The no vote would have meant that we would have had no choice but the queen of Aran.”
The statement added that the Tory island majority resident votes still stands, and they stand firmly together with the co-op committee and the Manager.
“We urge anyone who feels differently about this to re-look at the future of our island and re-visit Pól O’ Gallchóir’s proposal and what we will achieve in accepting it. We pray that this may re-unite our Island Community once again.
“We would like to point out that a very small minority of Tory islanders are actually members of the group “Mná Thoraí”. The group mainly consists of people living on the mainland.”
The statement is signed by ‘Tory Island permanent residents.’Tags: