A five-year moratorium on commercial rates for businesses in Mayo affected by a drop off in tourist numbers due to tourist accommodation being used to house refugees, has been sought by a Westport councillor.

Fine Gael councillor, Peter Flynn made the case, at this week’s Special Policy Committee of Mayo County Council on Tourism, as 20 percent of the county’s Fáilte Ireland-registered accommodation is at present being used for refugee accommodation.

His proposal was supported by other elected councillors.

Cllr Flynn called on the authority to write to Minister for Enterprise, Simon Coveney, demanding a five-year moratorium for Mayo businesses ‘impacted by the refugee crisis’.  He argued that the consequent drop in revenue for Mayo County Council should be funded by a direct government subsidy.

He said that many local businesses were receiving rates valuations based that were inaccurate due to the drop-off in tourist numbers.

Figures gathered at Croagh Patrick and the Great Western Greenway last year (2023) had revealed that visitor numbers had almost halved since 2019.

Cllr Flynn estimated that Mayo was losing 1,800 visitors every weekend night due to the amount of registered tourist accommodation allocated to refugees. Over just two weekend nights that equates to an estimated  revenue loss of 360,000 euro to the local economy.

He accused Mayo TDs and senators of being ‘largely silent’ on this major issue.

Cllr Flynn has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why a five year moratorium on commercial rates is now needed …




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