CIRCUS ANIMALS are safe coming to Sligo for the foreseeable future.
Hopefully, they have no hang-ups as some strong things were said about them this week.
Fianna Fáil went walkabout before the vote, with neither of its two councillors, Rosaleen O’Grady and Jude Devins, present for the debate.
Cllr Arthur Gibbons wanted the Council to prevent any of its land being used when the circus comes to town.
However, Cllr Matt Lyons put in a stormer to champion the cause of the circus.
And get this — and this is rare — Cllr Declan Bree sat on the fence!
Room To Exercise
He was proud to put down such a Motion as times have changed.
Elephants were taken away from their mothers at a very young age and animals didn’t even have room to exercise when travelling with circuses.
Cllr Matt Lyons said ”I’ve a lot of humanity in my body but I don’t agree with this.”
”I’ve been to circuses and don’t agree animals are abused or ill-treated.
”If this Motion is passed we won’t be able to fish, hunt or anything.” Circus animals were treated better than those on farms. Dogs had been left hanging from gates.
Cllr Daniel McGarrigle said he came from an agricultural background. ”The next call will be to close zoos. If we go down this road where do we stop?
Cllr Marcella McGarry said she had listened to debates on radio. Two circus managers had invited people to come and check animal welfare and found nothing wrong.
Cllr Declan Bree said he didn’t have strong views either way if animals are treated subject to law.
Mayor David Cawley said he appreciated the sentiment in the Motion. But the Fairgreen was the only site affected and it didn’t have circuses anymore.
These were Irish businesses, he said, and subjected to regulation.
In reply, Cllr Gibbons said it was about sending out a message to ”stop this cruelty.”
The comparison with domestic and zoo animals was not fair, as those animals were born in that habitat, he said.
Other speakers included Cllr Veronica Cawley and Cllr Jim McGarry.
The vote to impose the ban on circuses using Borough Council property in Sligo resulted as follows:-
Cllr Arthur Gibbons
Cllr Chris MacManus
Cllr Matt Lyons
Cllr Marcella McGarry
Cllr Daniel McGarrigle
Mayor David Cawley
Cllr Veronica Cawley
Cllr Delan Bree
ABSENT FROM VOTE (2)
Cllr Rosaleen O’Grady
Cllr Jude Devins
IT HAS BEEN revealed that Council expenditure on the administration of Sligo’s Cranmore Regeneration project is significantly higher than any other regeneration scheme in the country.
United Left Alliance representative Joan Collins T.D. recently asked the Minister for the Environment for details of the amount of regeneration funding spent on a number of urban renewal schemes in 2009 including, the Mitchel’s Crescent Regeneration Scheme in Tralee; the Laural Avenue Regeneration Scheme in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown; the Cranmore Regeneration Scheme Sligo and the Waterford City Regeneration Scheme. She also sought the expenditure on staff salaries on each of the regeneration schemes and the staff salaries as a percentage of overall expenditure on each scheme.
The response from the Ministers office revealed that a colossal 17% of funding provided for the Cranmore Regeneration Project in Sligo was spent on salaries. In Dun Laoghaire Rathdown 1.5% of the funding was spent on salaries; in Tralee 1.5% was spent on salaries; while in Waterford 4.5% of funding was spent on salaries.
Speaking today Independent Socialist Councillor Declan Bree thanked Deputy Collins and said “This funding was supposed to be for regeneration, for the refurbishment of housing stock and the improvement of the estate, however in Sligo almost one out of every five euro is being spent on salaries and administration. How can the County Manager justify this?
“When the Minister for the Environment asked the local authorities in Dun Laoghaire, Sligo, Waterford and Tralee to use their own staff and resources to the fullest extent in terms of supervising regeneration schemes, he did so with the intention of reducing costs. However the exorbitant costs in Sligo are inexplicable and clearly cannot be justified.
“While paying 17% of the funding on administration the regeneration office also paid out over €120,000 in fees to private consultants, in addition over €90,000 was paid in Technical fees in respect of the grass mounds in the estate which still remain in place.
“The fact is that regeneration funding is not being spent where it is supposed to. In the past week alone I have been contacted by a number of constituents from Cranmore – one pensioner who asked for proper heating to be installed in her home was told that there was no money for such work; another told me that her obsolete cooker could not be replaced due to lack of funds and another told me that she has had to ask the Ombudsman to intervene so as to have her windows repaired/replaced.
“I have asked Deputy Collins to raise the matter in the Dail when it resumes in September. As far as I am concerned the people of Cranmore and the people of Sligo are entitled to know why so much money is being squandered on administration costs. ” said Cllr Bree.