Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has attacked the government for failing to provide the necessary funding to Sligo County Council to allow it to continue providing vital services for Sligo people.
He commented, “The latest news that Ballymote Library is set to close due to continued funding cutbacks is another example of Fine Gael and Labour’s lack of commitment to the Sligo region. It follows my call to Minister Alan Kelly on November 12th last to secure cabinet support for an emergency funding increase for Sligo County Council instead of discriminatory cuts such as the closure of Ballymote Library. Clearly the Government has ignored my call.
“Sligo’s central government funding has been slashed from €18 million in 2008 to just over €9 million. The funding model for smaller local authorities like Sligo is totally inadequate and the Government must be honest and admit this. Councils such as Fingal in Dublin have up to €100 million on deposit whereas according to Fine Gael and Labour the people of Sligo will be stripped of core community services. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.
“To cover for their own ineptitude Central Government is hanging Sligo out to dry and punishing local people instead of providing the necessary resources to secure public services. To discriminate against Sligo people in prescribing library closures, tax office closures and more redundancies is fundamentally wrong. It is to do to Sligo people what Brussels and Frankfort did to Ireland.
“The presence of a library has greatly added to the wider Ballymote community. Students use it as a learning resource while members of the public also use its internet facilities.
“Which library is next to close? These cutbacks cannot continue. The government’s relentless attack on the people of Sligo must stop now.”