Updated: 27/09/16 : 05:31:38Printable Version
Follwing the latest chapter in Sligo County Council’s on going debt crisis and consequent Library closure Deputy Marc Mac Sharry has issued a scathing attack on Fine Gael & the Independent Alliance for what he termed their “ contempt “ for the people of Sligo.
Deputy Mac Sharry said “This Fine Gael and independent alliance Government continue to show absolute contempt for the people of Sligo. Our county is not an independent republic, we are not an island, we are citizens of Ireland and deserve equal treatment the County Council debt situation demands national action and the neglect of Sligo citizens is an issue of national concern. "Enda Kenny and Shane Ross cannot be permitted to persist in splendid ignorance and ambivalence when it comes to the needs and genuine rights of local people to services.
“It beggars belief that Sligo Government Deputy Tony Mc Loughlin unilaterally arranged a private meeting with Minister Coveney to supposedly ‘ help ‘ our situation in Sligo and returned with a dictate delivered via Government Councillors that the people of Sligo must pay an additional 15% in property tax. Other local authorities such as Fingal and Dun Laoghaire, communities who enjoy infinitely more services that we do have the benefit of a 15% reduction in property tax. This is totally unacceptable and the people of Sligo should not and will not stand for it.”
The Sligo TD continued, “We continue to have a weekly parade of Government Ministers to the County for photo call after photo call but when the chips are down and real action is required to address the chronic inequality of this Governments two- tiered approach these people are nowhere to be seen. Minister Ross pronounced on radio that his party colleague Sligo Mayor Cllr Marie Casserly has “a strong voice in Government”. If this is true, where is the evidence?
"Apparently so strong is the influence of Cllr Casserly she could not secure a meeting with the Minister or Department officials to advance the case for Sligo.” Deputy Mc Loughlin excluded us all from the meeting with Minister Coveney and returned with a proposal to increase tax by 15%. Thank god my party colleagues and other likeminded representatives did not allow this outrage to proceed.“The spectacular let down by Deputy Mc Loughlin and Cathaoirleach Keaney in securing a department dictat to increase local taxes does not auger well for the ‘influence’ of Sligo based Government representatives at national level."
The Sligo based TD added, “We must unite in our demand for national assistance. We are entitled to local services we are entitled to the same treatment as other local authority areas. Our limited revenue stream on commercial rates and other income demand central government assistance to ensure that Sligo people are afforded the same services as other communities” “ we have no tourism officers where as other counties have up to 7, we have limited outdoor staff, we have limited resources for critical local infrastructure and now our libraries are under threat”.
“Fine Gael & the Independent alliance must realise their responsibility to us is equal to that of all local authorities. They need to take a strategic approach to the debt of all local authorities throughout the country now totalling just over €4bn. To put it in perspective – Sligo owes €120m, Cork owe €500m and Local Authorities like Fingal have €100m on deposit just because they have the benefit of Dublin Airport within their rates warrant a return that in itself is a multiple of the entire rates take of all of County Sligo.”Government must immediately embrace their responsibilities to Sligo people and address the gross neglect perpetrated upon them by FG/Ind Alliance.”
“I have tabled a motion which I hope will be taken in Dáil Eireann on Tuesday in which I will demand national support for Sligo County Council so that our community is treated equally and afforded the same service entitlements as Irish Citizens in other parts of the country,” cocluded Deputy Mac Sharry.