Granard Town Hall plans in limbo

Plans to refurbish Granard Town Hall may not start until after 2013 due to doubts about the availability of government funding.

Plans to refurbish Granard Town Hall may not start until after 2013 due to doubts about the availability of government funding.

Details of the anticipated setback caused a torrent of criticism from councillors at last week’s meeting of Granard Town Council as evidence emerged application forms had been with government officials since November 2007.

In a letter read out by Town Clerk Ann Glancy on behalf of Longford County Council’s Director of Services Frank Sheridan, she stated council bosses remained fully behind the project.

This, despite Department of the Environment chiefs conceding funding streams for a new capital library programme may not materialise this year.

Reacting to the annoucement, Cllr Eddie Kelly said he believed the north Longford town’s hall and library services woul be revamped as far back as 2004.

“When I came back from the States we were given a presentation from the (County) Council on it, so no I am not very happy,” he said.

The Independent representative’s mood appeared to worsen when referring to the e1.5m upgrading of Ballymahon Library two years ago.

“In 2004, the plans were drawn up, but then Longford County Council put Ballymahon ahead of us. Granard is being desecrated all the time. Rural transport was taken off us, our social welfare place was closed down so now people have to go and sign on in Longford. From what I can see, Granard has been neglected since I came here (Town Council),” he said.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Maura Kilbride Harkin was more tactful when giving her own assessment. She did however admit that throughout her time as a county councillor, Granard had always been “first on the list” for capital improvements.

Cllr Tommy Stokes expressed his own discontent over the delay and about the likelihood of central government funding being made available.

“I am very disappointed that we didn’t get it (monies) during the Celtic Tiger years. If we get it in the next five to six years we will be very lucky,” he said.