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Sligo Sinn Fein Councillor MacManus who retired with a gratuity of around €53,000 has been replaced by his son.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