Cllr David Grant has vowed to defy a request from the Cathaoirleach of Bray Town Council to stay silent on the issue of the Dargle Flood Protection Scheme. In an unprecedented approach Cllr Ronan McManus emailed all Councillors today asking that until such time as the Office of Public Works confirms the status of funding for the scheme no further comments would be made to the media.
Responding to this unusual request, Cllr David Grant stated that he would under no circumstances be silent on the need for the Dargle Flood Protection Scheme to get underway without any further delays. The Government has failed to make a decision on the matter since it came into office despite the fact that the project is ready to go and a contractor is in place.
The Cathaoirleach’s actions come on foot of pressure from officials involved in the scheme who have found that comments made by Cllr Grant and others in recent weeks is making their job difficult.
“Officials need to realise that this project is of huge concern to local residents in Little Bray and the absence of information from the Council and OPW has only contributed to the frustration that exists about the future of the scheme. Those involved in the project could use their time to better effect and agree with the Minister that this scheme should start immediately.
The action of Labour Party Councillor Ronan McManus is an attempt by the Government parties to silence criticism about their handling of the project. This is a tactic that we have seen the Government use in the Dáil recently and also in the process of the Government’s nominee to the Court of Auditors where Government leaders have tried to mute the opposition of their own party members to the proposal. Such actions mirror those of leaders in Socialist States where freedoms are denied.
In an era where statements are carried not just through conventional media sources but also online in a variety of ways, Cllr McManus and Officialdom are attempting to exercise a form of censorship on what elected members can and cannot say.
I for one will not be adhering to any dictate issued by Cllr McManus or officials and I will continue to make statements about the Dargle Flood Protection Scheme to the media and post them on my website until the residents of Little Bray know that this scheme has been delivered on” said Cllr Grant.