Roscommon County Council

  • Castlerea based Fianna Fail Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice has been elected Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council today.

    A grouping of six Fianna Fail, two Fine Gael and two Independents backed Cllr Fitzmaurice in a vote earlier today to be elected Cathaoirleach for the coming year.

    Fine Gael’s Liam Callaghan is the Leas-Cathaoirleach.

  • The Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Ivan Connaughton has confirmed that he will not be running in next year's local elections.

    The Athleague-based councillor says he's making his intentions known now, ahead of the party's closing date for nominations next Monday.

    In a statement posted on Facebook, Ivan Connaughton confirmed he would not be contesting next May's local elections for reasons previously stated.

    He was first elected to Roscommon County Council in 2014, and stood for Fianna Fail in two by-elections in 2011 and 2014 - narrowly missing winning a seat in 2014.

    Shortly after that by-election, he said he wouldn't stand for Fianna Fail again while Micheal Martin was party leader, and Councillor Connaughton has confirmed again today that he's not happy with the party leadership or the direction of the party.

     

     

     

     

  • An emergency meeting of Roscommon county Council took place this morning to discuss what’s termed the “imminent” and “brutal” closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    There has been widespread local anger over the confirmation from the HSE earlier this month, that the Rosalie Unit would cease to function as a community psychiatric unit.

    Alternative care arrangements, according to the HSE, are being put in place for each of the present residents of the facility.

    Up to 70 protesters gathered at the gates of the Rosalie Unit on Thursday last to condemn the HSE’s decision.

    The Cathaoirleach of Roscommon Municipal District, Independent councillor Nigel Dinneen called for today’s emergency session – calling on the HSE to reverse its decision to close the Rosalie Unit as a community psychiatric unit.

    He told Midwest News this afternoon that councillors have agreed to write again to Ministers Harris and Daly , asking them to instruct the HSE to reverse the unit’s closure.

     In addition they have written to the Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin calling on him to have the decision reversed or withdraw from the Confidence and Supply Agreement his party has with the government.

    It’s expected that a Private Motion debate in the Dail proposed by Fianna Fail’s Eugene Murphy on the Rosalie Unit and its future will take place next week.

  • Roscommon County Council will hold a special plenary meeting tomorrow afternoon to hear presentations by candidates seeking a nomination for the Presidential election.

    Up to 9 candidates could address the local authority, and as of yesterday evening, seven of the nine have indicated that they will be attending the meeting.

    These include Dragon Den stars Peter Casey and Sean Gallagher , together with Senator Joan Freeman , journalist Gemma O’Doherty, along with Patrick Feeney, Sarah Loiose Mulligan, and Kiltoom native Marie Goretti Moylan.

    A spokesperson for Roscommon County Council told Midwest News yesterday evening that they are still awaiting confirmation from two other candidates – Tulsk farmer John Groarke and artist Kevin Sharkey.

    A formal resolution will not be made at tomorrow’s meeting , but nominations will be accepted and a date agreed to vote on the nominee or nominees.

    Pieta House founder , Senator Joan Freeman was endorsed last night by Cork City Council for a nomination to run as a candidate in the Presidential Election.

    Earlier yesterday , businessman Gavin Duffy received the backing of Meath County Council to contest the  election.

    On Monday next at 11am in Aras An Chontae in Castlebar, Mayo county council has convened a special meeting to hear Presidential hopefuls.

     

  • Over 100 staff at Roscommon County Council are staging a one-day strike today in a row over flexi-leave.

    In a statement to Midwest News, their union Forsa, says council management’s refusal to implement a flexi-leave scheme in the local authority has provoked this series of one day strikes, which are commencing today and are due to continue every Tuesday and Thursday. These strikes will impact on all council services.

    Forsa says council management has refused to halt its effective ban on flexi-leave in spite of two binding Labour Court recommendations, two Labour Court clarifications of its position and one Labour Court clarification of its clarifications.

    The union decided to take industrial action it said in the statement, after management refused to concede any progress in Workplace Relations Commission brokered talks, which have been going on for weeks.

    The Roscommon County Council CEO Eugene Cummins told RTE that Labour relations forums have backed his view that flexi-leave must be approved by a line manager based on the council’s business and operational plans.

    The council says the union is seeking an additional 13 days flexi-leave per annum, resulting in some staff having in excess of 50 days leave per year.

    The widely available flexible working scheme allows staff to accumulate an extra day per month – up to 13 days per year – by working additional hours during a normal week.

    Mr Cummins said this morning that if there is a defined business staff can work additional hours and those hours can be transferred into flexi-leave, but to date the problem has been that staff have been generating this leave without permission or purpose, rather than to suit the business needs.

    He said he wants to manage that process more effectively to ensure business continuity is maintained and it can be better audited.

    Padraig Mulligan is a Forsa official and told Midwest News today that this action will continue unless a compromise is reached.

  • Roscommon County Council has been fined and will appear on a list of tax defaulters in December.

    The local authority has apologised for becoming a defaulter, saying it was due to a systems error.

    The Roscommon Herald reports that the shock news emerged at Monday's monthly meeting of the council, where councillors were told that measures have been put in place to ensure this mistake could not occur again.

    Councillors heard that the local authority was VAT audited by Revenue Commissioners last November for 2016 and up to October 31st 2017.

    However, a systems error relating to July & August 2017 had occurred leading to a VAT underpayment of over €331,000.

    This was subsequently paid, but Roscommon County Council will appear on the tax defaulters list later this year, and was also fined for the error.

     

     

  • Long-serving Roscommon FF County Councillor Rachel Doherty has confirmed she will not be contesting next year's local elections.

    A daughter of former Roscommon Fianna Fail TD and Senator Séan Doherty, she was first elected to Roscommon County Council for the Boyle electoral area in 2004, and was re-elected in 2009 and 2014.

    Rachel Doherty says she is not in a position to serve for another term, due to her increasing work committments in Fáilte Ireland.

    In a statement, she said the workload of a county councillor has become more demanding in recent years, and is now essentially a full-time job.

     

     

     

  • Sean Gallagher has received his first endorsement to run as a candidate in the Presidential Election.

    Roscommon County Council has voted to give the businessman its backing.

    Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman also have the backing of one county council so far.

    Presidential hopefuls need the endorsement of four local authorities or 20 Oireachtas members to get on the ballot paper.

  • Staff at Roscommon County Council are holding a fourth day of strike action today, in a dispute over flexi time working.

    It comes after the council was criticised for its approach to the issue, by the NOAC - the oversight body for local authorities.

    The strikes are organised by the Fórsa trade union, and are being supported by SIPTU.

    The NOAC has recommended that unions suspend industrial action if Roscommon County Council allows 'family friendly' working practices.

    Peter Nolan from the workers' union Fórsa believes the council must now respond.

  • One of the demands from farmers in the current beef dispute is that the 30-month rule for cattle be dropped.

    Farmers bringing animals over the 30-months to processing factories are currently penalised - and these penalties cost Irish farmers over €33 million last year.

    Tomorrow, supermarkets and butchers across Co Roscommon are being invited to a meeting, to get their views on whether the 30-month rule could be dropped.

    The meeting is being organised by an alliance of 10 members of Roscommon County Council, who will then convey the outcome of the meeting to the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.

    Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Castlerea-based Fianna Fail Councillor Paschal Fitzmaurice said the councillors want the views of the retailers on this issue.

  • The industrial action at Roscommon county council has been called off.

    RTÉ  is reporting that the terms of a resolution have been agreed to end industrial action over flexi-leave at the  local authority.

    Over 160 staff members had been staging two days of strike action per week over the last two weeks since the dispute began over the refusal of management at the council to approve time off for employees who said they wanted to build it up for family and other engagements.

    Yesterday, another 50 SIPTU members voted to join the strike but talks that took place at the Workplace Relations Commission in Dublin have led to a deal that will end the dispute.

  • The Tibohine Action Group in Roscommon has confirmed that they intend to take Roscommon County Council to the High Court in relation to the development of a Biopark at Ballinphuill, Tibohine.

    In a statement today the group says: “After eight years of fighting for proper and fair procedure regarding the development of a Biopark at Ballinphuill, Tibohine, we have been left with no option other than to take Roscommon County Council to the High Court.

    Our case has been accepted by the High Court and will now go through the court process.

    Our greatest grievance is the acceptance of the retention application by Roscommon County Council.

    This has been a very long battle but we have remained united as an Action Group and we fully intend to see this process out to its conclusion.

    The Tibohine Action Group says it will not be making any further comment at this time.