County Manager Tim Caffrey was playing a positive note on the violin of doom that is set to become an artistic feature on the N5 bypass in Longford town.
The manager’s comments came during last week’s Co Council meeting when members called for more IDA investment in the county, after it emerged earlier this month that the State body invested zilch in Co Longford last year.
“We have the facilities and the infrastructure in this county and that is what people what,” Mr Caffrey said, adding that all we needed to do was “keep knocking on the door of IDA”.
“The IDA will at least know that we are not going away. There is so much being made of this artistic feature - the violin on the N5 - and I cannot understand why? Do you ever hear of people in Donegal, or Galway of Kerry giving out about their artistic features? No you do not…this county secured the N5 bypass and that is something we should be proud of. It facilitates traffic from east to west in this country; so why can that not be celebrated?”
Mr Caffrey went on to say that there was much to be proud of in Co Longford and the time had come to build on what was already there, and celebrate all the success and joy that would come along with that.
“I agree with the manager,” County Mayor, Larry Bannon (FG) added.
“We have rivers and lakes and the Royal Canal here on our doorstep; we have everything going for us and we should be proud of ourselves, and where we come from.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Frank Kilbride (FG) paid tribute to the artistic feature, which he said “celebrated the rich musical heritage” that the county possessed.
“When the violin was first mooted, I was genuinely delighted about it,” he said.
“In fact it was me who suggested something musical because this county is steeped in music. It is not a fiddle - as some people are calling it - it is a violin, and I think it will be a wonderful feature on the bypass.”
In relation to IDA investment, Cllr Barney Steele (FF) who footed a motion on the matter added that it was imperative that representatives from the State body visit Longford and “see for themselves” all that was on offer here.
“The focus is always on Dublin, Cork and the bigger towns, and the reality is, that this county is badly in need of some help in terms of industry and jobs. I would propose that representatives from IDA be invited by this council to come to Longford.”
The motion was passed, but not before Cllr Colm Murray (FG) highlighted his concerns over the lack of IDA investment in the county. “God knows we could do with all the investment we can get,” Cllr Murray continued. “I think it is necessary to get the IDA representatives to come to Longford so that they can see for themselves why it would be a good idea to invest here.
“Yes we have the best infrastructure and great facilities and that is great, but is the IDA aware of this? They need to come here and find out.”