Casey and Duffy in spat over rural transport

The offices of Longford County Council. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Mark Casey and Fine Gael Councillor John Duffy have become embroiled in a row over the future of Longford’s rural transport services, writes Liam Cosgrove.

Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Mark Casey and Fine Gael Councillor John Duffy have become embroiled in a row over the future of Longford’s rural transport services, writes Liam Cosgrove.

The pair exchanged words at a recent meeting of Longford County Council as members discussed the nomination of a member to Westmeath’s Rural Community Transport Association.

Cllr Duffy was keen to stress any claims concerning rural transport services in Longford being placed in jeopardy were simply untrue.

“There is no bus route being affected,” he said, directing his frustration at Cllr Casey. “You are scaremongering now. Be very careful with your language mayor. There is no bus gone.”

However, Cllr Casey was quick to step in, accusing Cllr Duffy of repeating a comment he had made earlier on in the meeting.

“You came in the first time,” he snappily replied. “Now you are repeating the same thing. Once is enough.”

Cllr Casey’s remarks followed a lengthy discussion in which some asked why a solitary Longford representative was being ratified onto the Westeamth Rural Community Transport Association.

“It’s more of this poor relation thing going on between Longford and Westmeath,” said a bemused looking Cllr Gerry Warnock.

“These little things are telling Longford people where they stand.”

Fine Gael’s Peggy Nolan took a differing view however.

She said the time had come for local politicians to start talking positively and stop “shooting ourselves in the foot.”