Year in Review

Minister “doesn't give a damn” as concern expressed for Leitrim's future - A look back at November 2017

News Reporter

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News Reporter

Minister “doesn't give a damn” as concern expressed for Leitrim's future - A look back at November 2017

Serious concerns were raised for the future of Co Leitrim and the wider North West area under the proposed National Planning Framework (Ireland 2040-Our Plan).


A call for submissions on the new draft document is set to close this Friday, November 10, and Leitrim County Council is making a specific submission to highlight major concerns, not least of which are the lack of clarity on the N4 and one-off housing, the downgrading of former gateway city, Sligo, and a lack of detail on planned growth outside of five cities named in the plan: Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford.


Meanwhile, the debate on the Council's budget for the coming year heard one member accuse the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross of “a total neglect of his ministry” and “not giving two damns about rural Ireland.”


Members of the Council adopted a budget of €34.99 million for 2018, however it was during a debate on the lack of funding for local roads and particularly Local Improvement Schemes that members focused their ire on the Minister.


A stark warning was issued by the farming community in Co. Leitrim and in the North West that an urgent aid package was needed as they were already running out of fodder following the wettest July to October in the county since 2009.
An IFA delegation met with the Minister of State at Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle, on a farm in the county to show him first hand the difficulties being faced by farmers here.


The famed Leitrim Guardian magazine marked its fiftieth birthday at a function in The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon. Editor, Dr. Bláithín Gallagher proudly presented the 50th edition of the magazine which was launched by author and broadcaster Vincent Woods from Tarmon.


Also this month, north Leitrim councillor Justin Warnock highlighted what he said was a “huge untapped tourism potential” in Tullaghan at the extreme north of the county.


Cllr Warnock said Leitrim's only coastal stretch is a hidden mecca for surfers and said proper investment in infrastructure and access would make a huge difference to the tourism potential of the area.


The ongoing issue of cannabis growhouses made the headlines again this month after yet another growhouse with €80,000 worth of cannabis was discovered in the area. Three men, two of whom have addresses in Leitrim Village, appeared in court in relation to the discovery at Knockvicar, Co. Roscommon.


And another growhouse was discovered in an apartment in the Cortober area of Carrick-on-Shannon by Gardai and plants with an estimated street value of €35,000 were seized.


The lack of funding by the IDA in Leitrim was branded “an absolute disgrace” by Deputy Martin Kenny.


The Drumboylan and Leitrim Village areas were in mourning following the tragic death of Patrick Moffatt in an accident on the Shannon-Erne Canal on Sunday, November 26.


Mr Moffatt was working for Waterways Ireland at the time and the alarm was raised when he failed to return home. Following a search, Mr Moffatt's body was recovered at Lock 16 just outside Leitrim Village.