A Castlebar councillor is calling on his elected colleagues to seriously reconsider the  decision, last month, calling on Mayo County Council to cease all cooperation with the Department of Integration until the necessary services are put in place to accommodate additional asylum seekers and refugees in Mayo.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Al McDonnell believes that the county is now being penalised for its vote on January 15 last, through reduced funding from government.

At this week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, Councillor McDonnell described the decision taken at the January meeting of the authority as ‘a grave error of judgement’ and described the motion and the debate on the day as “nothing more than a futile exercise.”

He was not in attendance for the vote on the day.

Midwest News has invited councillor McDonnell and Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn to discuss this statement this lunchtime.

 On Monday last Cllr McDonnell claimed that the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took exception to the vote by Mayo councillors by condemning it two days later, on Jan 17th.

Leo Varadkar was quoted in the Irish Independent as saying that Mayo couldn’t take an arbitrary stance on one issue, while seeking huge Government funding on a range of others and added that the resolution by the Mayo councillors was “non-binding”.

“You can’t have an à la carte relationship with government departments. “You can’t refuse to cooperate with some when you're asked to do something, and then apply for funding from five others. That's not a tenable position.”, the Taoiseach stated.

From that statement councillor McDonnell says it’s logical that the vote in January  was not helpful to county Mayo and urged his elected colleagues to reconsider the stance ahead of the 2024 roads allocations.

Councillor McDonnell cited the cut to Mayo’s Active Travel budget for 2024 last week and the failure of the county to secure any funding recently under a fund for the development of piers and harbours, as indicative of the government’s attitude to the county as a result of the stance unanimously taken by councillors in January.

On Monday he said “My view is that we have been penalised for the controversial stance we took at our meeting in January and I think it now needs to be revisited for the overall good of the county.”

More at 1pm on today's Lunchtime News.

 

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