A leading figure in Carrick-on-Suir’s anti-water charges campaign has given a guarantee that members of the group won’t protest when Environment, Community & Local Government Minister Alan Kelly officially opens the Ballylynch regeneration scheme.
Carrick Municipal District Council Chairman Cllr Eddie O’Meara sought the guarantee from Carrick-on-SUir Sinn Fein Cllr David Dunne at the latest monthly meeting of the Council, which was told Minister Kelly has offered to officially open the refurbished Mountain View neighbourhood of the estate.
“I hope he will get a better reception here than Joan Burton got in Dublin,” warned Cllr O’Meara.
Cllr Dunne, who is a founding member of Carrick-on-Suir’s Right2Water campaign group, indicated he wouldn’t support staging a protest at a positive occasion such as this but pointed out that people were entitled to protest peacefully if the Minister visited.
Cllr O’Meara pointed out to Cllr Dunne that when Minister Kelly visited Carrick-on-Suir, the Council wanted to lobby him for extra funding to carry out further regeneration works in Ballylynch and to build new social housing in the town.
“What kind of impression of Carrick-on-Suir do you think he will get if he gets hassle? How do you think he will leave Carrick on that day,” he asked.
Cllr Dunne retorted that Cllr O’Meara hadn’t listened to what he said. He said any group he was involved with would not protest on an occasion where there was good news. “We wouldn’t sully it with a protest. I would make sure... but I can only speak for a group I would be involved with. I don’t control everyone. People are entitled to protest.”
Cllr O’Meara responded that he accepted Cllr Dunne’s guarantee.
Minister of State for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction Paidi Coffey from nearby Portlaw was originally invited by the Council to open the regenerated part of Ballylynch.
But District Administrator Martin Nolan informed councillors that Minister Coffey wrote back to the Council thanking it for the invitation but stating that Minister Kelly requested the invitation be referred to him as the estate was in Co. Tipperary.
Independent Cllr Kieran Bourke, who had suggested Minister Coffey be invited to perform the official opening, welcomed the news.
He said the Council had a landbank on the Coolnamuck Road for housing and they wanted funding for the next phase of the Ballylynch regeneration scheme. Minister Kelly announced funding was ready to go for housing in Templemore and Cllr Bourke didn’t see why the same couldn’t be done for Carrick.