Thursday, June 25, 2020

Cllr Blackie Gavin, left, was less sure about supporting the planned coalition than his Fianna Fáil colleague Cllr Martin Mcloughlin, right.

Several Fianna Fáil councillors in Mayo remained undecided earlier this week about whether to back the proposed Programme for Government but the time is nigh to make up their minds as the deadline for voting is this evening.

Cllrs Michael Loftus, Annie May Reape, Michael Smyth, John Caulfield, Martin McLoughlin, and Brendan Mulroy said they would be backing the FF/FG/Green Party coalition but when contacted by the Western People last Monday, Cllrs Blackie Gavin, Al McDonnell, Damien Ryan and Sean Carey said they still making up their minds. Achill councillor Paul McNamara could not be reached for comment.

“I’m supporting it because I think it is in the national interest,” said Swinford-based Michael Smyth. “It’s not something people like or want to do but there is a necessity around it. People realise we are in a crisis and we need a stable government.”

Castlebar-based Martin McLoughlin is supporting the deal “on the basis that we are going to have a Fianna Fáil senior minister in Mayo”.

“I think this is the time for Fianna Fáil to show they are a political party with steel in them and they recognise what has to be done to get the country back and get people working.”

Others looked as though they would take more convincing.

“I do see the need for the responsible, solid and stable government but I haven’t made up my mind completely. I have serious problems with the National Planning Framework,” said FF’s party whip on Mayo Co Council, Cllr Damien Ryan, adding that the proposed deal should get over the line.

“I think it will be carried but I think it will be a lot closer than they initially thought.”

Cllr Al McDonnell believes the National Planning Framework will have serious consequences for rural areas.

“It means that our hands will be largely tied in relation to development plans.”

He fears Fianna Fáil could suffer from a ‘loss of identity’ by linking up with FG and the Greens.

Deputy Dara Calleary is hopeful that FF will receive the backing of its local membership but understands it will be a tough call for some.

“This is an incredibly difficult decision for people. This isn’t an easy decision for me either. But I’m confident Fianna Fáil performs well in government and I think we will be able to work from within Government to change housing, agriculture, regional development and health.”

Comments are closed.

Contact Newsdesk: +353 96 60900

More Connacht News

Similar Articles