Longford general election hopefuls in fresh spat over LEADER funding

Carrigy launches stinging attack on Fianna Fáíl election rival

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford general election hopefuls in fresh spat over LEADER funding

Cllr Joe Flaherty and Cllr Micheal Carrigy look set to trade blows over the LEADER programme.

A war of words looks set to erupt between the two men hoping to become Longford's next TD after Fianna Fáil was told it needs to "brush up" on its understanding of the LEADER programme.

Cllr Micheál Carrigy, Fine Gael General Election candidate in Longford-Westmeath said:“My colleague on Longford County Council, Joe Flaherty of Fianna Fáil has criticised the Department of Rural and Community Development based on incorrectly reading the data.

“Regarding Cllr Flaherty’s point in relation to the LEADER funding cycle, it’s important for him to understand that allocations can be made up to the end of 2020 and that project promoters have a further three years to get the work done to draw down the funding.

Cllr Carrigy said his opposite number's claims that red tape was holding up the rolling out of allocations as "misleading" and simply untrue.

Minister Michael Ring has significantly cut Leader administration making approximately 32 changes to streamline the process with respect to applications, groups and the administration of the LEADER programme.

“As of the end of 2018, Longford has had €945,154.02 approved for 39 different projects around the county.

“Rather than criticising the programme, Cllr Flaherty should be encouraging local groups to apply for the available funding.

“To successfully apply for funding a project must align with the aims of the Longford Local Development Strategy."