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MacManus Seeks Urgent Meeting with Department to Discuss National Road Proposals (Council motion passed 6 September 2010)
Sligo Councillor Sean MacManus has called on the Department of Transport and the National Roads Authority (NRA) to hold and urgent meeting with Sligo Co. Council to discuss their future plans in relation to up-grading a number of National routes within Co. Sligo. Included in Councillor MacManus request are the N4 Castlebaldwin/ Cloonamahon, N16 Sligo/Blacklion and N17 Collooney/Bellaghy routes.
“On July 26th last the government published its Public Capital Investment Programme 2010-2016 which outlined its proposals for exchequer spending for the next six years. This announcement was made at the beginning of the holiday period, obviously with the clear intention that its contents-or rather lack of content- would receive as little discussion as possible.

Indeed it is no wonder that this timing was used given the level of spending reduction in the Programme and the numerous items of bad news contained in this document.                                      

It is not my intention today to dwell on the many cutbacks which will affect this region—cutbacks in Sligo General Hospital, in the educational programme and developing the Western Rail Corridor spring to mind---- but to concentrate on the National road network within Co. Sligo.

I have searched this Programme 2010-2016 and have been unable to find any mention of the needed and long awaited works to the N4 Castlebaldwin/ Cloonamahon, N16 Sligo/Blacklion or the N17 Tubberbride/Bellaghy roads. Instead of any reference to any of these routes I clearly see that little new road building will be started and will be confined to sections between Galway/Cork and Cork/Rosslare/Dublin.

This new Programme 2010-2016 is nothing but the same old story, “To Hell or to the
Northwest”, this region is again put on the hind tit and left to struggle on without our fair share of investment.

Every Councillor in this room recognises the need to get significant works done to each of these roads, we all know the length of time we have been waiting to hear from either the Department or the NRA, we are all aware of the studies and route selection works which have been done yet we continue to wait for any announcement that works will commence.

Meanwhile, the conditions of these roads continue to pose dangerous driving conditions, as, regretfully we have again recently witnessed.

We have had enough of this shoddy treatment by central government, I am now asking this council to support my request that we seek an urgent meeting with representatives of both the Department of Transport and the NRA to discuss what they plan to do to upgrade these roads in the short term. If such a meeting is refused then the people of this region can draw their own,obvious conclusions.
The signal failure of local Fianna Fail T.D’S to make any real intervention in relation to this issue has to be a matter of regret. Of course their failure to secure any commitment on these road improvements is in keeping with the abysmal failure of the Fianna Fail/ Green coalition to treat the citizens of this area with any form of fairness on virtually any issue. 



The decision by the Government to cut E190, 000 from the recent grant allocation for the Union Road in Ballygawley has been described as “another example of the lack of effective representation for the populace of this region” by Thomas Healy, the Sinn Fein candidate for the area.

“The Union road section of the R284 outside Ballygawley is a very busy route serving a large area through Sooey, Riverstown, Geevagh and Glan”, stated Mr Healy. “Work to improve safety and access on this stretch was commenced under the National Development Plan from 2000 to 2006. To date E3.9 million has been spent on the project until work stopped last year. The road has since been left in a more dangerous state, which has resulted in a number of accidents on it. Since I was selected to run for Sinn Fein last year I have highlighted this issue in the local media and lobbied both at County Council and Ministerial level to have further funds released to finally finish this roadway.”

“Although I was delighted when the Ministers office informed me last February that E490, 000 was being allocated for the Union road works I was still mindful that the original application had been for E700, 000. Now the government have further cut this money by E190, 000. It is great to see some work being carried out providing much needed employment in our region but it is a disgrace that almost ten years on I will again have to campaign next year for enough funds to finally finish this roadway.”

“ It is more important than ever to invest in our infrastructure now,” concluded Mr Healy. “When the government can invest E3.5 billion in a single bank surely we deserve to have adequate roads here to help us develop and compete for investment on an equal basis to the rest of the state.”CRIOCH

For confirmation contact Thomas Healy @ 086 3666561

Thomas Healy, the Sinn Fein candidate for the Ballymote electoral area has welcomed  funding recently allocated for local water schemes in Ballintogher and Ballygawley. However he has expressed concern that the recent budget cuts will affect these schemes.

“I am delighted to see funding of ¤226,666 allocated both from the Department of the Environment and Sligo Sounty Council for upgrading of the Ballingtogher waste water scheme plant. The Ballygawley Group Water scheme has also been approved for a takeover by the Council with a further ¤100,000 allocated to that project. However the government are now cutting ¤200 million from the environment budget, principally social housing and water infrastructure. It is essential that these water schemes are not affected by the cuts and I am writing to the Minister to demand the entitlement of every citizen to clean water.

Both Ballygawley and Ballingtogher have experienced significant growth in recent years and it is vital, concluded Mr Healy, “that water quality and water treatment are maintained to a high level.”

For confirmation contact Thomas Healy @ 086 3666561 or


‘Eastern Bridge as Currently Proposed Has No Local Support’
– MacManus

20 March 2009

‘Those elected representatives who continue to advocate the Eastern Bridge as currently proposed by council officials, should make it their business to engage with the residents of Doorly Park and Martin Savage Terrace, whose community the proposed bridge will tear asunder’, according to Sinn Fein Councillor Chris MacManus.

"It needs to be made very clear that the current proposal for an Eastern Bridge has no support from the local community, is opposed by all the East Ward Councillors as well as by the overwhelming majority of Sligo Borough Council. Recent comments at a meeting of Sligo County Council [The Sligo Champion, 18th March] calling for the implementation of the current proposal are not only unwelcome but are hurtful to the local community in the lower East Ward.

"Despite the fact that the Fianna Fail Chairperson of Sligo County Council is aware that the county council has no role to play in relation to the proposed Eastern Bridge, a debate was facilitated to allow a smokescreen of supposed support for the bridge.  Some of the comments made during this debate have caused alarm and concern amongst local residents.

"Once again, I would call on those few public representatives who still advocate the building of this proposed bridge, to engage with the local community and see at first hand the impending damage to the social fabric of the area, before they make any further comments on this project.

"Both the local community and local public representatives want to see an Eastern relief road and bridge that will relieve the traffic problems on the eastern side of Sligo City.  However, this cannot be done by ploughing a major thoroughfare through the heart of a predominantly elderly and settled community.  It must be done in a properly planned and sustainable manner that has minimal impact on any local community.

Councillor MacManus concluded, "What would have an immediate impact on easing some of the traffic congestion around the city centre would be for the County Manager to implement a Sinn Fein proposal, supported by the majority of the Borough Council, and immediately re-open O'Connell Street. It has become glaringly obvious that government will not provide the estimated ¤4.5 million to pedestrianise the street, yet the County Manager refuses to see the writing on the wall. It would suit those public representatives still calling for an Eastern Bridge at the site currently proposed by council officials, to call on the county manager to do the sensible thing and re-open O'Connell Street. ENDS

07 March 2009

Thomas Healy, the Sinn Fein candidate for the Ballymote electoral area, has welcomed remedial work carried out on the Mountain Foot Road, off the R284 in Ballygawley, but is continuing to lobby for additional upgrading of the route.

“I wish to welcome the remedial work carried out by the council on the Mountain Foot Road recently”, stated Mr Healy. “I have been making representation on behalf of residents in the area since last august. There had been an ongoing problem with water lodging on the road surface as well as the menace of large potholes impeding traffic. Whilst local residents were delighted to see remedial work carried out to address these issues, and the cutting back of roadside hedges, the problem is not yet resolved fully”.

“The Council have assured me that the Mountain Foot Road will be assessed in the near future and work carried out if funding is made available. I am calling on the Council to prioritise this road for improvement and resurfacing under the 2009 Road Works Scheme. This project deserves urgent attention as in some sections potholes have now deteriorated to being beyond filling and significant resurfacing work is now required”.

“In addition I will be consulting with residents regarding the junction of the Mountain Foot Road and the main Ballygawley road. With over 50 houses on the road now this is an increasingly busy junction and in my opinion is no longer fit for purpose as it is too narrow. I intend to make furthur representation to the council on this matter if needed”. CRIOCH

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