Mayo Co Council is to cease all work on a section of newly-constructed footpath on Ballina’s Behy Road, pending the compilation of a report on the infrastructure.
The section of footpath has been the subject of ongoing queries to council officials by local Cllr Gerry Ginty. He is highlighting the fact that the local authority spent €80,000 on its construction when it was supposed to have been delivered by the developer of a local site, in compliance with planning permission conditions.
The councillor raised the matter once again at the March monthly Ballina Municipal District meeting, where it was agreed that a detailed report on the footpath would be included in the agenda for the next meeting and that no further money would be spent on the development of the section of footpath until then.
Cllr Jarlath Munnelly agreed that there were certainly more questions than answers in relation to how the footpath had come to be and warned that the local authority could not be seen to differentiate in terms of planning rules.
But Cllr Annie May Reape, who had originally proposed that the council construct the Behy Road footpath, argued that it had been agreed that the path provided on health and safety grounds.
Cllr Ginty replied that there were health and safety grounds for footpath works all over Ballina, and yet they are not being done. Later in the same meeting, several other footpaths in need of improvements were highlighted, including the one linking the Riverside area to the Ice House.
Cllr Ginty called for a comprehensive survey of the footpaths in the Ballina area so that works could be prioritised, but Cllr Seamus Weir reprimanded his colleagues’ requests for footpath works, saying they were fully aware that there is no money to fund such projects.
Cllr Munnelly advocated that the council invest more resources in footpath works, while Cllr Ginty pointed out that councillors can also allocate their notice of motion funds towards such projects.