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Councillors angry that 'not one cent' has been spent on islands this year

Cllr John Shéamuis Ó Fearraigh moved to adjourn meeting

Michelle NicPhaidin

Reporter:

Michelle NicPhaidin

Email:

michelle.nicphaidin@donegaldemocrat.ie

Councillors angry that 'not one cent' has been spent on islands this year

The Chairperson of the Glenties Municipal District moved to adjourn a meeting for Coiste na n-Oileán on Tuesday because he felt angry that ‘not one penny has come from the department this year for the islands.’
A meeting of Coiste na n-Oileán and Glenties Municipal District councillors took place on Tuesday.
Councillor John Shéamuis Ó Fearraigh said that the road on Gabhla Island was in 'absolutely shameful' condition and called on the minister responsible for the islands, Minister Sean Kyne to meet with them.
Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher said: "It’s very frustrating, there is a department responsible for the islands that doesn't spend money on islands.
“For a full year, not a penny from the department has been spent on our islands. It is not acceptable.”
A response in relation to the matter from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said that applications for funding in respect of minor capital works have been submitted to the department by all local authorities with populated islands in their operational areas.
“These applications are currently being evaluated in the context of the funding available to the department and the various demands on that funding.
“The Minister of State at the department hopes to be in a position to make a decision in this regard shortly,” the statement reads.
Cllr Micheál Choilm MacGiolla Easbuig said that a letter should be sent to Minister Joe McHugh in relation to the matter.
“There are parts of Gabhla island you can't walk on,” he said.
Mairín UíFhearraigh of Comharchumann na n-Oileán bheag said that works necessary works on islands ought to be done at the begining of the year as opposed to the end of the year - when the weather is better.

The councillors heard that a number of people had been brought to Gabhla island, of late, but that the roads were in such bad condition they found it difficult to walk on many parts of the island.
There are fears roads on the island may fall into further disrepair over the coming cold winter months. 
Cllr John Shéamuis Ó Fearraigh said that all councillors in Glenties ought to put pressure on all Donegal TDs to impress on the minister how important it is that islands receive adequate and proper funding.
Eddie Joe MacAoidh said that Donegal seems to be the ‘forgotten county’ in regards funding for islands.
He said that he visited other islands and that he was impressed with the amenities he found there.
He added that Minister Kyne should meet with the island committee and discuss matters, such as, funding and works.