West Mayo councillors appeared stunned yesterday when it was revealed that GMA funding withheld from local voluntary groups, was accessed by council management to fund its own events like Mayo Day.

The news was revealed at a special draft 2019 budget meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District yesterday evening.

GMA funding, monies given out to voluntary groups from a fund controlled by councillors, was stalled this year in West Mayo because council management insisted the GMA could not be paid out unless councillors agreed to raise more money in car parking fees. In the case of west Mayo that additional funding could be secured through car parking charges being introduced on Westport streets. Just last month councillors who had long opposed the idea of on street car parking charges eventually agreed to allow them to go ahead in Westport. They will come into operation early in 2019.

Yesterday councillors demanded answers from council management as to why they were not informed of the GMA allocations to Mayo Day and the twinning celebrations for St Patrick’s Day.

Newport based independent councillor Michael Holmes told Midwest News this morning that he and other councillors are not questioning the value of these allocations but rather the process that was used to approve them in light of the controversial year regarding GMA allocations.

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