Mid-Western Regional Authority Spend €5,000 On Junket

Cllr Ger Fahy, Heads to New York for St Patrick's holiday courtesy the Irish taxpayer.

Following a budgetary meeting of North Tipperary County Council yesterday, it was confirmed that an allocation of €708,000 would now be granted for the upgrading of roads in Thurles and surrounding areas.

However, while our new government has cut back severely on foreign trips for St Patrick’s Day, the Limerick Leader newspaper has learnt that the Mid-Western Regional Authority, a tax-payer funded, indirectly elected organisation, based in Abbey Street, in Nenagh, Tipperary, is spending almost €5,000 to jet its chairman, Fine Gael city councillor Ger Fahy and Director Liam Conneally to New York City.

The Mid-Western Regional Authority, (Note: For over stretched taxpayers who are not up to date with current affairs.) is a ‘quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization ‘ or ‘quango‘ involved in co-ordinating  the local authority areas of Counties Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary and Limerick City. A quango is the label given to an organisation to which government has devolved power and which the new Fine Gael Government has promised to abolish.

However Councillor Ger Fahy and Director Liam Conneally commenced their trip to New York last night, (“A lot done, More to do,” or was that a Fianna Fail quote.) with the pair not due back until 24 hours after the city’s parade concludes.

During their stay in New York City, Cllr Fahy and Mr Conneally will stay in a “three-star hotel” in Manhattan, with the Fine Gael councillor joining the Limerick Association in New York for its annual parade.

According to the Limerick Leader newspaper, both men defended the trip, pointing out that during their week in the Big Apple, they will meet (Have a few Jar’s) with a variety of tourism and business agencies, including the American branches of the IDA Ireland, Tourism Ireland, CIE Tours, Aer Lingus and Enterprise Ireland.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader newspaper, Cllr Fahy said: “I think its very appropriate that we travel. We have so much going for us in this region. We need to promote the Mid-West, and in particular Shannon Airport, and attract inward investment into the region. I have no doubt that it will be a very worthwhile visit.

The American Nation, I have no doubt, will be greatly honoured by this high level visitation, however my fear is that their presence will overshadow IDA Ireland, Tourism Ireland, CIE Tours, Aer Lingus and Enterprise Ireland personnel, already in place, busy handing out the leaflets.

The €5000 spent on this trip could have employed one man for two months filling potholes here in Thurles. This junketing comes as the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said yesterday that it now believed that 14.6pc of the population was unemployed, after revising the February figure of 13.5pc published last week. Unemployment has now jumped to the highest levels since 1994 as young and middle-aged men continue to lose jobs at record rates and long-term unemployment becomes the norm for those without work.

Congratulations to the Irish taxpayers of this green and pleasant land, for giving so unselfishly to the Mid-Western Regional Authority, who sanctioned this week in New York with our sponsorship money. No doubt both men will supply us with a full and detailed report of their achievements, immediately on their return.

It seems “the more things change the more they remain the same.”  God save Ireland.


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