By Dan Walsh
A delegation from New Ross Municipal District is to travel to Danville to attend the Eugene O’Neill Festival from September 16th-22nd following approval by a majority of members at Monday’s meeting of Wexford County Council held at Carricklawn, Wexford.
Some members were totally opposed to the trip and indicated they would be voting against it although it was no reflection on the delegates personally. Cllr Diarmuid Devereux failed to understand why a delegation was travelling to a festival launch in California when the event was happening in New Ross?
Cllr Tom Forde spoke against the proposal, Cllr Cathal Byrne felt “we should cut our cloth to measure” and felt the time wasn’t right and Cllr Jim Codd wondered about the trip “at a time when people can barely heat their houses and deserved more benefits.”
Cllr Davy Hynes was against at a time of “a housing crisis and a cost of living crisis”, and Cllr Jackser Owens was against at a time “when Minister Ryan wants people not to put up lights at Christmas.” Cllr Bridín Murphy felt the timing wasn’t right “as people are facing into Christmas.”
Cllr John Fleming approved the project. Cllr Pat Barden pointed out that four people were going to Danville and 60 people are coming back, and maybe a 100 next year.
Cllr Pip Breen told the meeting; “We should speculate to accumulate; the delegates should go.” Cllr Michael Sheehan said that more than 60 people would spend a few days in New Ross and he felt “the economic advantage would be overwhelming.”
Cllr Michael Whelan understood the benefits to New Ross and he proposed that the delegation should go. Cllr Barden seconded. Cllr Carty stated there was money in the budget for the current year.
CEO Tom Enright said it was in the Council’s interest to develop economic and cultural links and recalled a trip to Savannah in 2014 and how that has developed successfully. “It is the right thing to do,” said Mr Enright, who concluded “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. There will be a return over and above the cost.”