Sligo Municipal Minutes 2016

Minutes of Meeting of the Municipal District of Sligo held on Monday 18th July, 2016


  • Councillor Declan Bree
  • Councillor Marie Casserly (Mayor)
  • Councillor Thomas Healy
  • Councillor Hubert Keaney
  • Councillor Sean Mac Manus
  • Councillor Tom Mac Sharry
  • Councillor Sinead Maguire
  • Councillor Gino O’Boyle
  • Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady


  • Mr. Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive
  • Mr. Tom Kilfeather, Director of Services
  • Mr. Donal Tinney, County Librarian
  • Mr. Tom Brennan, Senior Resident Engineer
  • Mr. Joe Murphy, Senior Executive Officer
  • Mr. Mark Cummins
  • Ms. Lorraine Fitzgerald, Staff Officer


  • Councillor Seamus Kilgannon


The Mayor, Councillor Marie Casserly presided and welcomed the Members, Executive and members of the media to her first Municipal District Meeting as Mayor.



Proposed by Councillor T. Healy
Seconded by Councillor G. O’Boyle


“To confirm the minutes of the Meeting of the Municipal District of Sligo held on 16th May, 2016."


There were no matters arising.


Mr. Tom Brennan presented his report to the meeting. Irish Water has recently announced the O’Connell Street Water Main and Sewer Rehabilitation Works project. This €1.25m scheme will include the replacement of approximately 510 metres of water main and the rehabilitation of 210 metres of Victorian culvert sewer on O’Connell Street including replacement of water main consumer connections and all associated ancillary works. The works will extend into some of the adjoining streets specifically the junctions of O’Connell Street/John Street/Grattan Street and O’Connell Street/Lower Knox Street/Wine Street.

This scheme represents a major investment by Irish Water in improving water infrastructure in the O’Connell Street area.

The water main replacement works will result in significant improvements in network performance and level of customer service in terms of supply pressure, security of supply, fire flow capacity and operational pressure and will deliver significant savings in terms of leakage reduction.

The existing brick sewer culvert under O’Connell Street conveys waste water and storm water along O’Connell Street and dates back to the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The culvert is in poor condition structurally and badly needs rehabilitation. This scheme will involve a complete rehabilitation of this sewer culvert running along the entire length of the street.

Irish Water anticipates that construction will commence in September 2016 and will be complete by the end of November 2016.

It is understood that Irish Water has an initial Public Consultation on this scheme to affected stakeholders on Monday evening 18th July 2016.

The particular Irish Water scheme is very significant for the overall improvement and refurbishment of Sligo City Centre in that it will remove an impediment to the implementation of Sligo County Council’s O’Connell Street Enhancement Project.

The Part 8 for the ‘O’Connell Street Enhancement Project was approved by Sligo Borough Council in 2011. Mr. Frank Moylan will deal with planning aspects of the scheme.

The O’Connell Street Enhancement Project will include:

  • The removal of existing footpaths and road surface.
  • The provision of new widened footpaths and the provision of new paving.
  • The provision of a kerbed narrowed centre lane for traffic to move from South to North.
  • The provision of new high quality street furniture. Provision for CCTV, WiFi capability etc
  • The traffic calming of the junctions of O’Connell Street with Grattan Street/John Street to the South and with Lower Knox Street to the North.

The objective of the scheme is to provide a high quality inner urban environment where the balance of retail shopping and recreational amenity can be supported and enhanced in a safe and accessible way.

Sligo County Council has also been successful in its application for 50% grant aid from the European Regional Development Fund  Urban Development Fund Designated Urban Centres Grant Scheme. Please note report and presentation on this funding application to this Municipal District Council at meeting dated January 18th, 2016.

Now that the Irish Water scheme to replace the water mains and rehabilitate the culvert sewer is about to commence Sligo County Council will complete the detail design and preparation of tender documents for the ‘O’Connell Street Enhancement Project with a view to having the enhancement scheme ready to commence construction in the 1st quarter of 2017

Mr. Frank Moylan then informed the meeting that Section 10.4 of the current Sligo and Environs Development Plan 2010  2016 sets out a number of objectives in relation to creating a pedestrian friendly city centre. Objective O-PED-1 states that it is an objective of the Council ‘ to pedestrianise O’Connell Street when the necessary funding to cover the costs of pedestrianisation and enhancement of the street is provided by Government or other sources, and when the Borough Council by resolution deems it appropriate.

On the 11th May 2011, Sligo Borough Council placed on public display notice of its intention to carry out the following development:

‘Improvement and pedestrianisation of OConnell Street, Sligo, together with pavement works to the junction of Grattan Street, OConnell Street, John Street and Harmony Hill; the junction of OConnell Street and Wine Street, Lower Knox Street and Fish Quay Street Sligo

Following a period of public consultation and in accordance with the provisions of Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended), a manager’s report issued to the elected members recommending that the proposed development proceed.

At the Council meeting held on 2nd August 2011, the elected members resolved to approve the Part 8 by way of a motion which states:

Pedestrianisation whilst laudable as a long term strategy is not currently a viable option; and to reaffirm the Councils commitment to the content of the Sligo and Environs Development Plan 2010-2016, in particular, that before any pedestrianisation of roads or streets in Sligo City takes place, viable alternative routes for vehicular traffic which are acceptable to the elected Council shall be put in place; and that this Council recognises that such viable alternative routes currently do not exist; and to reiterate the Pedestrian Priority Objectives as contained in the Sligo and Environs Development Plan 2010  2016.

The current scheme for the enhancement works on O’Connell Street are consistent with the details originally placed on public display in May 2011 but are also in compliance with the resolution passed approving the Part 8 in that the scheme has been amended to retain a single lane of traffic along O’Connell Street.

Accordingly, from a planning perspective, it is considered that the current scheme of enhancement works being prepared are consistent with the proposed works approved under the 2011 Part 8 and are consistent with achieving the objectives of the Sligo and Environs Development Plan with regard to creating a pedestrian friendly city centre.

Mr. Brennan added that it is significant and welcome that IW are endeavouring to minimise inconvenience to traders and people on the street. IW are having a meeting with local traders and members of the public and it is expected that more detail will emerge after the meeting. We will have to revisit the scheme to ensure that it meets the requirements of the part 8, Urban Centre Grant and matching funding.

The Members welcomed this long overdue development and the first steps by Irish Water in getting the works underway. They complimented the work of the Engineering staff to date. Clarification will be required in relation to some items such as funding and budget, the amendment to the Part 8 regarding 1 lane of traffic, the condition the street will be left in after the IW works, where buses will park in terms of space and the timeframe in which all works will be completed.

The Chief Executive welcomed that IW have come on board but emphasised that we also want to raise awareness locally that there will be disruption and that expectations will need to be managed in this regard. We now have to go to tender with this contract and it is likely that the entire focus next year will be on O’Connell Street. We will be coming back with greater detail at the next meeting in October and will have a better idea of Irish Water’s Programme at that stage.

Councillor MacManus added that there should not be cut-backs given the importance of this project to which the Chief Executive stated that he is at with one with Councillor MacManus in relation to this.


Mr. Donal Tinney gave a presentation outlining the main upcoming events and programmes in the Library.

Sligeach 2016:

  • Sligo Museum exhibition “Easter Rising 1916 : Sligo”.
  • The Battle of Ashbourne 1916 : An Exhibition.
  • Awards Ceremony for Volunteers for Music Rising 2016.

Library Service:

  • Summer Stars Reading Programme countywide 660+ already registered.
  • Ongoing Literacy Pilot Story time Children and Parents Sligo Central.
  • Summer Reading activities throughout summer months.
  • Ballymote Community Library Rambling House Book club Documentary Club Film club etc.
  • Launch of new eServices in July 2016. Magazines, Newspapers, eBooks and audio books , courses, language courses.
  • Roll out of new Library Management System.

Europe Direct:

  • EDIC in Sligo Central information on BREXIT, summer travel information, consumer info, studying abroad etc.

Temporary Library Closures:

Due to critical staff shortages all libraries countywide will be subject to ongoing temporary closures for the foreseeable future.

Members thanked Mr. Tinney for his presentation and commended the impressive work being done by the Library Service while dealing with such severe staff shortages. In relation to the temporary library closures, all were disappointed that this was the case and it was pointed out that there are no closures elsewhere in the Country.

The Chief Executive responded to queries raised and stated that certainly there is recruitment in other Local Authorities but the issue here is that we are obliged to reduce our staff numbers, adding that it is only with thanks to staff ingenuity and innovative work practices that the service is being delivered.


Councillor MacManus gave an introduction to the update.

The contract which is a package of €7.6 million was signed last Friday. The LAG will be the vehicle through which most of the funding will be delivered and it should be coming on stream before the end of the year. Councillor MacManus saluted the work that Dorothy Clarke and a very small team of people have done in implementation of goals even with all of the red tape that exists, and reiterated the need for more resources to be involved.

Ms. Dorothy Clarke delivered the report as follows:

On behalf of Sligo Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and the Local Action Group (LAG) for Sligo, I am delighted to present an update on the new round of LEADER funding announced by the new Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, (D/AHRRGA) Minister Heather Humphries TD at the launch and contract signing event held in Virginia Co Cavan on the 8th July 2016. Sligo’s allocation under this round of funding is €7.6m. The LEADER Programme funds projects under a diverse range of themes that include enterprise development, rural tourism, social inclusion and the environment. The programme is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The LEADER 2020 Programme will deliver some €7.6m into rural towns and villages right across the county over the next four years up to 2020.

LEADER is an EU funded programme (Priority 6) and is aimed at -promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas. LEADER supports local rural communities by way of a Community Led Local Development (CLLD) approach that involves the participation of rural communities in developing local responses to key economic, environmental and social challenges and seeks to build the capacity and skills of the local community and other stakeholders in rural areas to tackle local development issues.

It focuses on three areas:

  1. Facilitating diversification, creation of new small enterprises and job creation;
  2. Promoting local development in rural areas; and
  3. Enhancing access to, use and quality of ICT in rural areas.

This round of LEADER funding will be delivered using a different model than in previous programmes. The EU requirements for LEADER requires the Programme to be delivered by way of a Local Action Group (LAG). Sligo LCDC is now the Local Action Group and will now be the vehicle through which the delivery of the LEADER 2020 programme will be channelled. It will work in partnership with the County Council as the Financial Partner and the Sligo LEADER Partnership Co as the Implementing Partner. The membership of the LCDC ie the mix of public and private representatives drawn from state agencies, local government, local development and community sectors was appropriate in terms of the required composition of a Local Action Group as prescribed by EU rules.

Within the past year, the LCDC which is now also the LAG would have worked with the existing local development company the Sligo LEADER Partnership Co and the County Council in agreeing the framework for the Local Development Strategy (LDS). The LDS is the Plan and the basis on which the priorities and activities to be funded by Sligo’s LEADER allocation of €7.6m will be spent. In December 2015, the Local Development Strategy was submitted by the LCDC/LAG to the then Dept Environment Community & Local Government (DEC&LG) as the basis for delivery of the LEADER Programme in Sligo. This was subsequently approved by an independent selection committee in June 2016 as having the appropriate requirements and meeting all EU criteria to deliver LEADER in Sligo.

Role of the Local Action Group (LAG)

In line with EU regulatory requirements, the LCDC as the LAG will have ultimate responsibility for the oversight and delivery of the Programme and will be the final decision maker on all funding actions proposed in the implementation of the LDS. It will operate a Service Level Agreement with both the Implementing Partner and the Financial Partner and will outline their role and responsibilities in the implementation of the LDS.

Role of Implementing Partner (IP)

Sligo LEADER Partnership Co Ltd as the Implementing Partner will deliver the Strategy and programme on the ground. It will work with project promoters in the development of project proposals and will submit these to an independent evaluation committee who will then make recommendations to the LAG/LCDC for final approval. It will also deliver the Animation related actions associated with the programme

Role of the Financial Partner (FP)

Sligo Co Co will be the Financial Partner of the LAG and will carry out the administrative tasks associated with this role including providing advance administration and animation funding to the Implementing Partner, requesting drawdown of monies from DAHRR&GA and making payments to promoters on behalf of the LAG. The Financial Partner will underwrite the activities of the LAG for all actions taken in implementing the LDS. It will have a robust verification role in terms of undertaking what is called Art 48 checks on all processes and project activities.


With the launch of the Programme on the 8th July 2016 last by the Minister, the Programme is now almost open for business. The LAG, the IP and the FP are now in the process of putting all of the requisite systems and procedures in place to be ready for applications from local community and voluntary groups and it is anticipated that expressions of interest for various projects will be sought from September 2016.

Ms. Clarke added that this is a new departure for the County Council with the LAG having final approval and will update the Council at various stages.

Members welcomed the funding and acknowledged the amount of work done to date. Many queries were raised in relation to funding allocation, amounts and community group requirements to avail of the funding. The Chief Executive added that it is too soon at this stage to provide the level of information being asked for and that Ms. Clarke will circulate more detailed information when it becomes available.


Proposed by Councillor D. Bree
Seconded by Councillor G. O’Boyle


That a progress report be provided regarding the preparation of plans for the refurbishment of the Gibraltar amenity area and for the development of a linear park system along the seashore from Gibraltar to the Sligo urban area at the docks."

Mr. Brennan advised the meeting that there are no specific current plans for the refurbishment of the Gibraltar Amenity Area. While the Sligo and Environs Development Plan has a specific objective for the development a linear park linking Gibraltar to Sligo’s Docklands, there are currently no plans to progress this. It is envisaged that this scheme will take place in conjunction with the development of lands in the Gibralter/Docklands area. It is not considered feasible that such a scheme can be progressed over the short to medium term.

Councillor Bree expressed his dissatisfaction with the report. The Chief Executive made the point that this is in the Sligo & Environs Development Plan currently resources are not available to carry out these works. Councillor Bree added that other counties do not seem to be losing out in the same way that Sligo is and the Chief Executive added that he welcomed the support of all of the members in this regard.


Proposed by Councillor T. MacSharry
Seconded by Councillor H. Keaney


That the Council Engineer provide members with an update on my motion of 16th November, 2015 relating to safety signage at the start of the Promenade in Rosses Point relating to cycle lanes and parking in the interests of Health and Safety.

Mr. Brennan advised the meeting that at the location in question there is a conflict between long established parking practices and the more recent provision of a dedicated cycle lane. In order to address this issue, parking would have to be prohibited by the provision of double yellow lines. Alternative parking spaces could be provided along the opposite side of the road. This would be consistent with the parking provision further west of this location. It should be noted that the provision of parking on the opposite side of the roadway would require recessing the existing kerbline into the green area for a distance. He added that in the interim they will look at putting up signage.

Councillor Keaney stated that perhaps people are unaware and that signage and 1 or 2 visits by the traffic warden may sort the problem.


Proposed by Councillor T. MacSharry
Seconded by Councillor R. O’Grady


That the Council Engineer provide members with an update on my motion of July 2015, calling for the need for resurfacing works at Fatima Avenue, Cleveragh, Sligo.

Mr. Brennan informed the meeting that in July 2015 a commitment was given to upgrading this road during 2016. However, this was delayed due to water mains replacement works which are now expected to commence in Q1 of 2017. It is therefore intended to allocate funding to resurfacing of this road in 2017.


Proposed by Councillor R. O’Grady
Seconded by Councillor T. MacSharry


That Sligo Municipal Council immediately contact Coras Iompair Eireann to clean up embankment under the bridge on the Strandhill Road.

Mr. Brennan reported that Sligo County Council have been in contact with CIE regarding this matter. CIE have carried out significant cleanup of the area in recent weeks and have committed to carrying out further cleaning of the area when they are back on site on Tuesday July 19th.

Councillor O’Grady also asked if there could be a clean-up done at Maye’s site also and the Chief Executive advised that stage 2 approval has been received for that site so it will be addressed.


With the agreement of the meeting it was agreed to deal with Motions 10 & 14 together.

Proposed by Councillor R. O’Grady
Seconded by Councillor T. MacSharry


That funding is sought to upgrade a portion of the footpath at the entrance to Thornhill Estate on the West side.

Mr. Brennan advised that this section of footpath will be replaced before the nearby primary school reopens in September.


Proposed by Councillor R. O’Grady
Seconded by Councillor G. O’Boyle


Any update on the change of use of the old soccer pitch at Maugheraboy to a dog exercise area"

Mr Brennan stated that there are currently no plans to change the use of this all-weather pitch to a dog exercise area.

Councillor O’Grady commented that it was a very innovative suggestion that could perhaps be kept in mind for future development.


Proposed by Councillor T. Healy
Seconded by Councillor D. Bree


“To call on Sligo County Council to address the disabled entrance access into all Local Authority buildings

Mr. Joe Murphy reported as follows:

A new staff member has recently been appointed to building maintenance. It is the intention of the Council over time to review the disabled entrance access to all its public buildings. I am aware that there are specific issues with regard to County Hall and City Hall.

With regard to County Hall, certain mechanical issues have arisen with motion and safety censors and mechanical hinges in need of replacement and repair. Quotations have been sought and the necessary works required will be carried out following receipt of same. With regard to City Hall, there is a difficulty with the designated disabled entrance access in that the building is exposed to drafts and is very cold when the double doors are left open. The Council is currently examining the possibility of automating these doors and if this is not possible it will look at other possible options.

Councillor Healy submitted a Resolution calling on Sligo County Council to write to the Minister of State to seek funding to bring all access for disabled up to EU standards.


With the agreement of the Members, this item was deferred to the Agenda of the next Sligo Municipal District Meeting.


With the agreement of the meeting it was agreed to deal with Motions 10 and 14 together.

Proposed by Councillor T. MacSharry
Seconded by Councillor R. O’Grady


The Sligo County Council engineering staff would assess the need for traffic calming-safe parking measures at Thornhill Sligo during drop off and pick up times from school at Scoil Ursula in the interests of Health and Safety

Mr. Brennan informed the meeting that double yellow lines and bollards have been provided to prevent inappropriate parking within Thornhill Estate. There are currently no further proposals to provide additional measures. However, Engineering staff will assess and review the situation when school reopens in September.


Proposed by Councillor D. Bree
Seconded by Councillor G. O’Boyle


That the Council erect street name signage at Ardee Terrace and that local residents be consulted in advance of the signage being erected.

Mr. Brennan advised that Ardee Terrace comprises a number of houses on two adjacent roads in the Ballydoogan Area. Sligo County Council does not generally erect name plates for housing developments, as such could lead to confusion. We can erect street name signage along Ardee Drive and will consult with local residents prior to same being ordered. Sligo County Council has a standard format for such signage.

Councillor Bree stated that at present there is a stone sign identifying Ardee Terrace and Mr. Brennan advised him that the Roads Department will look at this.


Proposed by Councillor D. Bree
Seconded by Councillor S. Maguire


Noting that the Bathing Waters Directive and the Bathing Water Quality Regulations, 2008 (SI No 79 of 2008) clearly states that The bathing waters to be identified by a local authority in respect of a bathing season shall not include any waters in relation to which the authority has issued a permanent prohibition or advice against bathing, and such prohibition or advice relates to the whole bathing season.; and noting that Sligo County Council prohibits bathing in Strandhill; this Municipal District Committee requests the Council to carry our monitoring of the water quality in Strandhill.

Mr. Brennan reported to the meeting as follows:

Strandhill beach is not a bathing water and there are no monitoring requirements or guidelines to adhere to. If it was to be monitored as a bathing water the following criteria would have to be assessed

Number of sample sites and sample site locations Sampling frequency (monitoring will have to be throughout the year) Costs involved, Staffing requirements Health and safety. Dissimilation of results and issuing warning notices if required

Water quality monitoring at Strandhill is not as straight forward as monitoring our bathing waters. Unlike a bathing area surfing is carried out along the whole beach which is a large area and water quality could vary. There are also serious H & S concerns re staff sampling in Strandhill.

There would also be a staffing requirement to manage the monitoring contract, results and issuing of bathing notices and providing advice etc.

Costs for year round sampling could be substantial. We do not currently have staff in house to manage this work all year round.

There was a general discussion in relation to not promoting mixed messages or normalizing the use of Strandhill Beach. Councillor Bree suggested getting a quotation from the company who currently sample bathing waters for us. The Chief Executive stated that we can certainly obtain quotations adding that there are other areas that are not necessarily bathing areas which are frequented by surfers. Councillor Keaney added that there is considerable testing in areas such as shellfish and looking at that may inform us further. Mr. Kilfeather added that we will look into it in more detail.


Proposed by Councillor T. Healy
Seconded by Councillor M. Casserly


To call on Sligo County Council for a update report on the 2014 storm funding provided by the OPW for protection repairs at Raughly Harbour.

Mr. Brennan informed the meeting that Sligo County Council do not have any current proposals regarding coastal protection works at Raughly harbour. Minor repair works were carried out at the harbour in response to recent storm damage. There is an intention to carry out repair works at the access to Raughly Peninsula circa 0.5 miles from the harbour. This scheme has not progressed significantly to-date due to the volume of work to be carried out in the Structures, Marine and Coastal Dept and staff constraints.


Proposed by Councillor T. Healy
Seconded by Councillor G. O’Boyle


To call on Sligo County Council to address the ongoing concern in relation to the grass cutting contractors as they are not collecting the cut grass in estates

Mr. Brennan advised that apart from a few specific locations, grass is collected from all green areas cut by or on behalf of the Parks Department. Parks Department Staff are aware of some instances of grass not being collected during the cutting operation and are addressing this presently with the contractor.


Proposed by Councillor M. Casserly
Seconded by Councillor T. Healy


Can the roads department look at the serious issue of lack of parking and turning space for teachers and parents at Grange Post Primary School. The junction is particularly dangerous with a lot of morning and evening traffic accessing housing estates and other road users going to work and school.

Mr. Brennan informed that meeting that over the coming months roads engineering staff will seek to assess the extent of the problem at this location and will ascertain what solutions could be put in place. Should it be determined that works are required, a source of funding will need to be identified.

It was mentioned that with the proposed extension to the school perhaps parking could be looked at.


With the agreement of the Members, this item was deferred to the Agenda of the next Sligo Municipal District Meeting.


Proposed by Councillor D. Bree
Seconded by Councillor T. Healy


That the meeting be provided with an up to date report on the proposed T2-T12 road linking the junction of Mail Coach Road/Connolly Street with the junction of Burton Street/Pearse Road.

Mr. Tom Brennan advised that:

A section of this road has been developed as part of a private development in recent years. This section is now in charge of Sligo County Council.

The development of the remaining section of this road by Sligo County Council would normally be funded through the Department of Transport’s Specific Improvement Grant Scheme. This funding stream was suspended in recent years.

However, our Road Design Section will endeavour to have the overall design for this section of road completed by the end of this year with a view to publishing the scheme and presenting to the Council under the Part 8 process during 2017. A CPO process will then have to be initiated to acquire the land to allow construction to commence.

The completion of the CPO process and construction would be dependent on a source of funding being identified.

Councillor Bree welcomed the report and hopes that the works will be carried out in a timely manner as this would bring a significant improvement to the traffic.


  1. Letter from the Bus Eireann dated 10th June, 2016.

It was suggested by the C.E. that perhaps Bus Eireann Officials should be invited to a meeting of the relevant SPC.

23. A.O.B.

Councillor T. Healy raised the issue of the difficulties with the broken water main at Ballytivnan and thanked the staff, in particular Mr. Kevin Colreavy, for the information provided to the public. He also asked that water tankers be put in place any time this issue may arise and was informed that Irish Water would be responsible for the placing tankers.

Councillor M. Casserly noted a date for diaries being the Celtic Fringe Festival which takes place from the 22ndto the 25th September.

Councillor M. Casserly informed the Members that a Book of Condolences in relation to the Nice attack was being opened after the meeting.

The business of the meeting ended at 12.00pm.



Download Minutes of Sligo Municipal District - 18th July 2016 (PDF) - 226 kbs




Meeting Date 18/07/2016