Councillor Patsy O'Brien

Concern over why Mayo was overlooked for rural regeneration funding

An elected member of Mayo County Council has claimed that questions still remain over the return of €1.1 million in capital funding by the authority as it has now emerged the county have received no funding through the recently announced Rural Regeneration Development Fund.

According to Robeen-based independent Councillor Patsy O'Brien, Mayo was one of just six counties who did not receive an allocation from the €21.7million in funding announced last week by Minister Heather Humphries last week.

He elaborated: “Mayo County Council applied through the Rural Regeneration Development Fund for five or six projects across the county but not one penny was allocated to Mayo.

"Twenty other counties across the island have received funding for 27 projects.

"I will be asking questions of the officials of Mayo County Council at the special meeting which has been scheduled for the end of February to discuss the action plan that council management is putting in place to ensure the authority does not have to hand back money which was allocated from government for projects in Mayo which have not been completed.

"I need to know if the audit that was conducted and resulted in the money being handed back, as well as a penalty of €160,000 imposed, resulted in Mayo not getting a penny from the Rural Regeneration Development Fund.

"I also want to know if the council's credibility, as a result of the audit, has been damaged and if will we be deprived of further funding if we make applications for different projects in the county through government departments.

"I had attempted to ask these questions at last Monday's council meeting but unfortunately got no answer."