Varadkar rules out reinstatement of town councils

Restoration of councils would ‘cost about €40 million a year.’

Plan for directly elected mayors for Dublin, Cork ‘and perhaps other counties’ nearing completion.

Sligo News File

The Dail has been told that the Government does not have any plan to restore town councils.

Leinster House

Responding to questions, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the reinstatement of town councils would cost “approximately €40 million a year…, and we do not believe that is how ratepayers and people who pay the local property tax would like to see their rates and local property tax money spent.”

He said Minister of State, Deputy Phelan is currently proposing that town districts and borough districts would essentially function as area committees do now but could have the ceremonial functions that previously town councils and borough councils had.

“This would be a kind of restoration of their ceremonial functions.”

He said Phelan was also carrying out “a separate piece of work, which is nearing completion, on directly elected mayors for Dublin, Cork and perhaps other counties and the relationship between chief executive officers and county cathaoirligh.”

Some 80 town councils were abolished in 2014 as part of local government reform under the Fine Gael/Labour government.

The Coalition also reduced the of councillors by more than 40% in the Local Government Bill published by Phil Hogan, the then Minister for the Environment.

Three years later, Fianna Fail moved a Bill aimed at restoring the abolished councils. They described the scrapping of the councils as a “slash and burn approach to local democracy” that had deprived urban areas of a voice.

ICSA urges farmers to get tough on beef price

‘Look for higher prices from factories.’

‘Winter finishers have endured long hard winter and prices available this spring have been totally inadequate to cover the costs involved.’

Sligo News File

Farmers are being urged ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham has called on farmers to look for higher beef prices this week from factories.

Edmund Graham, chair, ICSA Beef Committee

ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham said, “Supermarket shelves are empty and factories will be under pressure to get beef moving to supermarket distribution centres.”

Factory supplies, he said, “are low following the bad weather and farmers with numbers of cattle are in a strong position to get a price above the typical quotes available over the past few weeks.

“The reality is that winter finishers have endured a long hard winter and the prices available this spring have been totally inadequate to cover the costs involved. The empty supermarket shelves show that farmers are the vital link in the food chain and it is timely to demand a price that reflects the importance of the job we do.

“Consumers who take cheap food for granted need to realise that they are only ever a few days away from a food scarcity panic and that the supermarket model of squeezing the farmer is barely sustainable,” he said

Waste facility to replace former Ballaghaderreen cigar manufacturing operation?

Building believed to have been purchased by Time Lane Limited, a recently formed sole director company headed up by Barna Waste director Sean Curran.

Sligo News File

The former cigar manufacturing plant in Ballaghaderreen has reportedly being purchased for use as a waste facility.

Some 38 jobs were lost when ECMI ceased operations at the plant on the Charlestown Road last year and moved to Sri Lanka

According to accounts, the 47,000 square foot building has been acquired by Time Lane Limited, Derryloughan East, Spiddal, a company registered in February 2018.

Seán Curran, managing director and founder of Barna Recycling, is the sole director of the private company which operates a domestic and commercial waste collection service for 60,000 customers in Connacht. It also provides compost and skip hire services.

The firm is understood to employ more than 300 in facilities in Galway, Roscommon, Athlone and Leitrim.

Ballaghaderreen is home to 240 Syrian refugees housed by the government at the Abbeyfield Hotel in the town