THE man who was Minister for Local Government when town councils were abolished in 2014 will be in Ballina tomorrow morning, but at least one member of the local authority is not going to roll out the welcome mat.
After learning that Mayo County Council now has €13 million less to spend on regional and national roads compared to 10 years ago on a network that has grown by 250km, much of that having been part of the town council functional areas in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport, Councillor Annie May Reape suggested that anyone going to the Twin Trees Hotel in Ballina tomorrow (Friday) morning should bring along a placard and organise a protest.
“He (Hogan) has a cheek to come here, and the person who brought him here is worse,” said Councillor Reape at a meeting of Ballina Municipal District today (Thursday).
The Fianna Fáil member of the council added that with so much representation from Mayo at government level over the past number of years, she thought they would get 'everything' done in relation to road projects – including the N26 and N5 – but that didn't pan out.
“It's just not good news and I'm very cross,” she said as Paul Dolan, senior engineer, delivered the news on funding for roads this year.
Hogan is now the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and he will be in Ballina for a breakfast Brexit briefing, starting at 8 a.m. Other speakers include Joe Healy, IFA national president, and Paul Kelly, director, Food and Drink Industry Ireland.
Senator Michelle Mulherin - a former member of both Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council, and now the Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine - is hosting the briefing.