Cllr Gerry Murray

  • A Charlestown Councillor says he has to commend Minister Michael Ring and Deputy Sean Canney for the regional projects that have approved under the Ireland 2040 plan.

    However Sinn Fein Cllr Gerry Murray says as a member of the Committee of the Regions he was shocked by the resistance those west of Ireland TDs met with when putting forward various projects.

    Cllr Murray says there is also a problem with the major infrastructure projects that have been approved, as he claims anything west of the Shannon will have to undergo a cost benefit analysis.

    He also hit out at Fianna Fail and says they could have vetoed this plan and have had it amended at any time.

  • Since Irish Water took over responsibility for water and sewerage from local authorities, there is no longer any democratic accountability, responsibility or ownership of the utilities, according to Charlestown based Sinn Fein councillor Gerry Murray.

    The councillor says the government has handed over the provision of these vital services to a Dublin based entity, and he believes it has done so without any democratic input from communities.

    He cites the delivery of new sewerage treatment plants in both Charlestown and Foxford as taking significantly longer, than would have been the case if the responsibility had remained with Mayo county council.

    Councillor Murray told Midwest News that democratic responsibility for vital services has eroded as a result.

  • The number of outdoor staff now employed by Mayo county Council is at a critical level, and if additional staff are not hired, than Charlestown based councillor Gerry Murray, claims he is fearful that health and safety issues will arise.

    The Cathaoirleach of the Claremorris Municipal District, raised his concerns at the monthly meeting of the authority.

    Cllr Murray said that over the past decade, 250 outdoor staff in the county have retired and have not been replaced by the local authority, and called for an immediate recruitment of additional staff to ensure that essential works can be carried out.

     He and other councillors pointed out that they had allocated funding for a range of outdoor jobs to be carried out, promised constituents that these works would be carried out, only to find there is no one available to carry out the work – and they as cllrs they were taking the wrath of the public on these jobs.

    Council official Liam Hanrahan strongly refuted any suggestion by the Cathaoirleach that there were health and safety issues arining due to the shortage of staff numbers. He insisted that a health and safety risk assessment is prepared before any job is undertaken and if there is inadequate staff or equipment on the day, the job is not carried out.

    He admitted that staffing levels had fallen but said recruitment is now underway and added that despite the lifting by the government of the embargo on recruitment, nonetheless staff numbers in the local authority are capped.

    Cathaoirleach Murray says his concerns remain the same.

  • A farm family in the West Mayo Municipal District area have received a letter from the Enforcement  section of Mayo County Council telling them that the National Parks and Wildlife say they are breaking the law having installed a cattle crush on their farm.

    That’s according to Erris based Fine Gael Councillor Gerry Coyle. The Councillor says its wrong that any farm family should be threatened with action from the local authority for doing what the Department of Agriculture says is necessary for a vet’s inspection.

    At the monthly meeting of Mayo county council earlier this week Councillor Coyle raised the plight of the young family, where the father works in the UK and returns home every second weekend to his family and called on the CEO Peter Hynes to clarify if the Enforcement Section of Mayo County Council is acting as arm of the National Parks and Wildlife and asked why is it doing so.

    Cllr Coyle told Midwest News that it’s not acceptable that any family should be put under this stress for erecting a cattle crush on their farm.

  • The impact of a hard Brexit, together with the intention of the EU to further tax, high carbon economies, means that the case for the Irish government to fund the next phase of the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Claremorris has never been stronger. That’s the view of Charlestown based Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry Murray.

    The councillor says there is now funding on the table from the EU and its up to a Dublin based government to secure it to deliver an essential rail freight service to and from the west of Ireland. It’s the intention of Europe to tax road freight off the roads generally and onto the railways in an effort to promote a low carbon economy, Gerry Murray insists.

    The Councillor has been speaking to Midwest Radio News about the need for action now on the delivery of essential infrastructure to this region.

  • Irish Water is to provide extra traffic management on Friday and Sunday evenings in Charlestown, while work is ongoing on sewerage pipes in the town.

    That was confirmed by local Sinn Fein Cllr Gerry Murray today.

    Cllr Murray had contacted Irish Water to see if they could provide additional personnel to man the traffic management in the town, especially on Friday and Sunday evenings due to the sheer volume of traffic.

    Irish Water confirmed they will do that and they will suspend works for the St Patrick’s Weekend, so that the parade can go ahead.

    Cllr Murray also appealed to people to shop local, despite the ongoing works.

    He also said that Irish Water hope to have finished the works in the next four weeks.

  • The lack of available land on which to build social housing is a problem across Co Mayo.

    That’s according to Ballina Councillor Gerry Ginty, Chairperson of Mayo County Council’s Strategic Housing Committee.

    He claims that much of the land designated for housing is owned by private developers.

    Councillor Ginty is also concerned about the number of objections to social housing developments, and says many of the objectors may not realise that members of their own families may need social housing in the coming years.

    Councillor Ginty raised the matter at a recent meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, where there are over 500 people on the housing list at present.

    He again raised the issue of the colour scheme on a new social housing development at Marian Crescent in Ballina, where he says the colours used make the houses stand out “like a sore thumb”.

    Councillor Ginty believes social housing developments should blend in well with neighbouring properties, and this may lead to fewer objections.

  • A Charlestown Councillor has welcomed the N17 Knock to Collooney Project but has stated that it needs to be a dual carriageway as opposed to a single carriageway.

    Improvements to the existing N17 Knock to Collooney National primary route have been established in the National Development Plan as a potential means of improving regional accessibility along the Atlantic Economic Corridor and to the North-West.

    Engineers gave a presentation to Councillors at yesterdays Claremorris/Swinford Municipal District meeting in relation to the proposed project.

    The project is currently at Phase 2 of the TII Project Management Guidelines.

    Planning and design work has recently commenced and a wide range of improvement options will be considered over the coming months.

    Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry Murray is calling for this road to be a dual carriageway and that it’s included on the T10 Network, with the Western Rail Corridor in order to qualify for structural and cohesion funding from Europe.

    Cllr. Murray told the engineers at yesterday’s meeting that they need to convey to the Department that the building of this road has as much to do with economic development in to the future as it has to do with road safety as well.

  • Charlestown based Sinn Fein councillor Gerry Murray has welcomed the commencement of preliminary negotiations between Mayo County Council and the European Investment Bank(EIB) with a view to drawing down major investment loans for capital projects across the county and beyond 

     The councillor says in recent times the EU commission has been encouraging local and regional authorities to seek investment loans from the European Investment Bank, in circumstances where their respective Governments are refusing to co-fund infrastructural projects in the regions with the EU.

    There is 50% funding available from Europe for critical infrastructure in the west of Ireland, yet cllr Murray says this and previous governments refuse to provide the necessary matching funds. In these circumstances local authorities in the west are left with little option, he claims ,but to try and access the other 50% via the European Invest Bank.

  • Transport Infrastructure Ireland has carried out an audit of junctions along the N17 between Claremorris and Charlestown and a number of safety works will be undertaken along the route over the next number of months. That was confirmed by Council Engineer Conrad Harlay at the monthly meeting of Claremorris Municipal District earlier this week.

    Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry Murray had been highlighting the concerns of many local residents along the route, where a number of serious road traffic collisions had occurred over the past number of years.