In Reply to: re: Kenny says Castlebar posted by Shocking on February 21, 2016 at 18:44:36:
I have to say, I have a certain sympathy for Enda on this one. I'm by no means a fan but he's dead right about the negativity emanating from some quarters in the town, particularly those of a different party affiliation. Actually I've heard it's being said around the town this week that it's Enda's fault that the Welcome Inn has closed. I mean c'mon, that's really stretching it.
I know it's been a huge criticism of Enda's time as Taoiseach that he hasn't really done anything for Castlebar. (The few pathetic attempts at spinning phantom job announcements admittedly haven't helped him on this) BUT in all fairness that is NOT his job. He is the Taoiseach, his job is to benefit the whole country, not specific parts of it and in fact the inclination of others, most notably former FF ministers to do exactly that favouring their own patch to the exclusion of everywhere else is part of the reason we ended up in the crony inspired mess we did.
Secondly, Enda has never been one to shameless parade his achievements locally (I'm thinking of the ex PD Junior Minister who had banners proclaiming "welcome to Parlon country" on the roads into his constituency. Mayo has benefited considerably under this Government. One has only to reference the slew of announcements, investments and grant aided projects announced by Junior minister Michael Ring over the past 5 years. But you have to ask, would Michael have been able to secure any of these and indulge in such largess for Mayo without the support of his Taoiseach?
Finally, the old kernel that's constantly trotted out is that when Pee Flynn became minister he did loads for Mayo and in comparison what did Enda ever do? The reality is when Pee Flynn had the power to do so, he secured a new N5 from Swinford to Castlebar. Whilst that was an inarguable achievement and a very visible sign and reminder of his influence it was also the ONLY significant achievement in his county during his term as minister (and if the tribunals are to be believed, it's likely that projects such as that no doubt helped his personal enrichment too!) Beverley lived off the "great things" her Dad done for Mayo for literally her whole time as a TD, as part of Bertie Ahern governments who not only neglected backwaters like Mayo but seemed to go out of their way to pointedly so, whilst all the time (well most of the time apart from her hiccough!) Bev toed the party line and fawned over Bertie.
Five years after the completion of Pee's town bypass Enda became Minister for Tourism and secured the Museum of Country Life for Turlough House (A tourism attraction that has attracted 1.5 million visitors to somewhere where no real attraction existed before), yet you never hear that paraded around by the same people who still fondly recall Pee's great achievements.
Now 26 years on from Pee's great achievement we are finally getting a long overdue updated version of the N5 running from Bohola to Westport (Why did it take so long you might ask? Oh yeah FF were in power for most of that time)
So, whilst I'd be the first to tear strips out of aspects of Enda Kenny and his Government especially some of the pathetic leeches whose taste of power has turned them abusive and shown them totally out of touch with the people it is their privilege to represent.
But to criticise Enda as Taoiseach, just because he hasn't done enough for a town which has long since been the architect of much of its own downfall through stroke politics and cronyism and vested interests, this in my opinion is really taking the biscuit.
If Castlebar is inclined to take the necessary steps to help itself and do away with the negativity that has plagued it for years, then the necessary supports and rewards will be forthcoming, as they have been in Westport, a hugely positive and closely cooperative town who have long since realised the benefits of working together for mutual benefit, instead of stabbing each other in the backs at any opportunity..
In submitting this post for publication I agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Disclaimer