A special meeting of Longford Municipal District heard that €100,000 had been earmarked for road works on St Mel’s Road in the aftermath of the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral and this funding was only sufficient to carry out work on a section of the road.
Longford Co Council’s Michael Nevin told the meeting “this was not enough money” when engineers investigated the work that needed to be carried out.
“It was determined that the €100,000 would only be enough money to carry out necessary works on a section of the road,” he added.
The meeting was also told there was no more money to carry out the rest of the works and discretionary funding of €155,000 had already been earmarked for restoration on a part of the Dublin Road and elsewhere in Longford town.
“Members will have to apply for funding from next year’s discretionary budget to complete the works.”
Cllr Mae Sexton (Ind) and Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) alleged that members of the former town council had been deceived and lied to over the project.
“We were misled,” Cllr Nolan told the meeting.
“We were never told that more money would be necessary and every time we asked about the works being carried out on St Mel’s Road, we were assured by the top table, they would be.”
Cllr Mae Sexton demanded accountability for what she described as blatant disregard for Longford Town Council decisions and called for the resignation of the engineers involved.
“I want a breakdown of every single penny that was spent so far and I want to know who made the decisions.
“I have never been so insulted in my life; how dare anyone override the decision of elected members.”
Meanwhile, the meeting was told that residents on St Mel’s Road and Chapel Street had accommodated the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral in every way they could.
“They never complained once about the state of their area because they knew that once the Cathedral was finished, they would have state of the art infrastructure around them,” an irritated Cllr Nolan added.
Chairman of Longford Municipal District Cllr Seamus Butler indicated that a special meeting in respect of the matter would be held at a later date.
He also added, “There is anything but transparency here and we need to get the minutes from all the town counci l meetings in respect of St Mel’s Road.
“Then we must move forward and look at how we are going to sort this out.”
Cllr Butler also said there was a very obvious “lack of communication”.
“Well I am not standing in front of the people anymore and telling them bulls**t about why we can’t get things right,” an angry Cllr Sexton concluded.