MacManus junior takes daddy’s seat on Sligo County Council

Part-time job qualifies for almost €17,000 salary and ‘assortment’ of allowances and expenses.

Sligo News File Online

Sligo Sinn Fein Councillor MacManus who retired with a gratuity of around €53,000 has been replaced by his son.

Junior has been co-opted to the council and also appointed to committees on which his father served.

The part-time job carries a basic salary of nearly €17,000. There are also allowances for committee service, travel, as well as for things such as phone, office supplies and so on. Positions of committee chair attract about €3,000. Both chair and vice chair of a council qualify for the top dollar.

Simon Coveney,
Minister for Local Government.

Local Government Minister, Simon Coveney has announced the rates for councillors are to be increased in recognition, says he, of the heavy workload that the few hours of part-time work involve. Only a small number of local representatives give an almost full-time service to the public. Most councillors are in gainful full-time occupations as solicitors, auctioneers, estate agents, business owners, farmers, teachers, local officials and the like. In instances, some councillors are into combined business, farming, auctioneering and estate agency activities.

The North West, not least Sligo, meanwhile remains in the economic doldrums. No new industry, struggling business interests, a mass of closed commercial units and the continuing exodus of young people forced to leave in search of some decent job and lifestyle. In spite of it, the focus now appears to have been switched to Brexit…and the future of Northern Ireland.

Michael Ring, TD,
Minister of State

However, all is not lost. Junior minister Michael Ring is reportedly coming on board as the pilot of a new body impressively named the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce. Its aim: the creation of “a ‘City of Scale’ from Limerick, through Galway to Sligo to match Dublin and Cork in developing infrastructure, attracting domestic and international investment in western communities.” Ring, however, doesn’t tell whether the delivery record of the new body will be faster or slower than that for the long promised provision of the high-speed rural broadband programme.

Incidentally, the first meeting of the taskforce has been getting underway this afternoon at the Breaffy House Hotel.

Flanagan regrets student protest prevented Israeli ambassador talk at Trinity

Israel’s Foreign Ministry ‘horrified.’

Student group seeking boycott of Israeli Institutions by college ‘until rights of Palestinians are respected.’

Sligo News File Online. 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan is unhappy that the Israeli Ambassador was prevented from addressing a meeting at Trinity College.

Charlie Flanagan, TD, Foreign Affairs

Party colleague John Paul Phelan asked him for his views on the action.

Stating that he did not know the precise details, Flanagan said he regretted that an ambassador accredited to Ireland was unable to speak at the event.

He said:

“I would hope that we can all respect the principle of free speech, including allowing a hearing to those we might disagree with.

“This goes in particular for Ambassadors in the performance of their representative duties.

“If we expect Irish Ambassadors to represent our interests and our values abroad, then we must extend the same courtesy and respect to other representatives here.”

Flanagan doesn’t seem to have referenced the Israeli Government’s

Ze’ev Boker, Israeli ambassador

appalling treatment of neighbouring Palestinian children, women and men. According to British historian Professor Perry Anderson, it is estimated that half of the population in the Palestinian territories are refugees and that they have collectively suffered approximately $300 billion in property losses due to Israeli confiscations, at 2008-9 prices.

Responding further to Phelan, Flanagan said it was possible “to make a protest, if that is desired, without obstructing or disrupting a legitimate meeting held by others.”

He appreciated fully “that the Middle East Peace Process is an issue of great interest to people in Ireland and one which ignites animated discussion.”

The “unfortunate” outcome of events such as this, he said, is “that Ireland’s reputation has suffered, those in Israel most sympathetic to our arguments have been dismayed, and those who are most resistant to our views have been strengthened.”

Students for Justice in Palestine objected to the planned appearance of the ambassador, arguing that the Israeli Embassy had set “the terms, security and topic” for the event. 

The group is also seeking a full boycott of Israeli institutions by Trinity “until the rights of Palestinian communities are respected, and Israel complies with international law.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was “horrified” by the cancellation of the talk by the ambassador.

Trinity Provost Patrick Prendergast is said to have told the Israeli news website Ynet that the incident was “most unfortunate” and represented the antithesis of what Trinity stands for. He looked forward to welcoming the ambassador to campus again, under better circumstances.