Opinions divided over conferences

Edel Corrigan

Edel Corrigan

Louth councillors raised differing views regarding attendance at conferences at the June meeting of the Louth County Council.

Councillors were asked if they wanted to attend an induction training for councillors in Tullamore at the end of June.

Cllr Thomas Sharkey questioned the day’s schedule and was informed that all information regarding the training would be released by the department in due course.

Councillors were also invited to attend a range of conferences in Cork, Wexford and Roscommon.

Cllr Edel Corrigan said that she believed none of the conferences would be of any benefit to local councillors.

She said: “I recommend that no member of this council attend these conferences.

“They serve no benefit to this council. Also they haven’t been recommended by the Corporate Policy Group.”

Acting County Manager, Joan Martin, highlighted that it wasn’t possible to bring the CPG together before the meeting to discuss the matter.

Fianna Fail’s Thomas Byrne said that he was not at a conference in twenty y ears and would instead like the money to be spent in the local community.

Cllr Declan Breathnach said that some conferences are important, particularly if they are educational. He also welcomed the news that expenses for conferences is capped at €700 per councillor per year.

Meanwhile, Cllr Mark Dearey highlighted that training for councillors is important.

He told the council: “I have concerns that not all councillors are going to participate in the training.

“I would recommend that all councillors participate in the training as we need to re-look at our functions and roles within the new local authority.

“It will help improve each councillors ability and the efficiency of the overall council.

“I wouldn’t want important training for councillors be seen as a junket.”

Each councillor decided if they would like to attend the induction training in Tullamore.

No Sinn Fein councillor will attend the course. Other councillors had reservations about the date and considered alternative venues.


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