A Westport based councillor says he is flabbergasted and bitterly disappointed to see funding for the Clew Bay Greenway being pulled.
Mayo County Council has to hand back over a million euro to the Dept that had been secured for the project in 2019, because it failed to comply with the rules that govern the grant scheme known as the -Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
Details of the council’s error were outlined by council management to elected councillors yesterday at the monthly meeting of the authority.
In total this “error” by Mayo County Council that emerged through an external audit, which also involves the imposition of a 160,000 euro penalty, comes to 1.2 million euro.
CEO of Mayo County Council Kevin Kelly explained that a number of issues arose over practice and procedures concerning funding that had been allocated to MCC in 2019 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
Basically under the scheme no monies can be drawn down until the projects are completed, however, Mayo County Council got it the wrong way round and drew down the monies without completing the projects in some cases, and not having started them in other cases.
In total there were ten projects involved, six of these were started but not completed and the dept has agreed that it will allow the funding to stand, pending the projects being completed early 2022. It will however, impose a fine for the mistake of 160,000 euro.
In the case of the other four projects, all related to works on the Clew Bay Greenway, since no work had begun, the monies 1.1 million, must be returned in full.
Independent Westport Cllr Christy Hyland gave his reaction to the debacle to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley…