A COUNTY Councillor this week called on fellow members to reject a schedule of municipal district works ‘on a point of principal’.
Independent Councillor Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig blasted the proposed schedule of works for the Glenties Municipal District as ‘crumbs’.
The schedule, which was brought before this month’s Glenties MD meeting, was adopted by members.
Included in the plan is a housing maintenance allocation of €455,078, estates management of €8,471, litter control funding of €27,900 and development funding of €320,100.
“We are only getting pennies and we need pounds,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said.
“We are getting crumbs. This isn’t grandstanding.
“Some of the Council houses we have are falling apart, some roads are in a terrible state, Irish language is suffering, workers are on a minimum wages, people are struggling – and I can’t accept this.”
Michael McGarvey, Donegal County Council’s Director of Roads and Environment, urged the members to back the works.
“I don’t disagree with anything that the elected members have said,” Mr McGarvey said.
“We welcome and continue to build a case for what funding we can get to Donegal, to the Gaeltacht and to the islands. We are united in that.
“But what is presented here today is money that is available and divided up to allow roads go forward and how we can spent that in an efficient way. We have to allow the works to progress.”
An exchange ensued during which Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said it was ‘wrong’ of Mr McGarvey to ‘put pressure on councillors to accept this’.
He said: “We are getting pennies and the money isn’t adequate. We have to make a decision on what’s best for the Glenties Municipal District. We should take a principled stand and reject this. It might force the public to rise up when they see nothing is done. We’re taking a half a loaf constantly.”
Mr McGarvey said: “It is my job to try and explain what is in there and what isn’t in there. It doesn’t mean we agree with the amount of money that is being made available.”
Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher said that Glenties MD members had taken a policy of not adopting the schedule of works before and ‘it didn’t make a difference’.
She said: “At one stage, we nearly lost the DFI (Development Fund Initiative) funding. I absolutely agree with what Micheál Cholm has said, but we have been there and done that.
“We never get enough national funding and I doubt if we ever will. We should be fighting to get more money.”
The Cathaoirleach of the Glenties MD, Cllr Noreen McGarvey added: “We don’t get enough and we are always left behind, but sometimes maybe half a loaf is better than none.
“We have to take every penny we are getting from Lifford. We can’t move on with the housing budget or do any retrofits until we pass it.”Tags: