LOUTH COUNTY COUNCIL

Maeve Yore hits out at council's New York junket

A delegation from the local authority visited the Big Apple for St Patrick's Day

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Maeve Yore hits out at council's New York junket

Dundalk Municipal District councillor Maeve Yore has called on the local authority to provide tangible proof of the benefits to annual trips to New York city.

The Independent councillor made her comments after a delegation from Louth County Council made the trip to New York for St Patrick's Day this year, the second time in as many years such a trip has been undertaken.

"My question to the council meeting last week was how much did the junket to New York cost," she told the Democrat. "Show me tangible proof that Louth gets added to tour itineraries by US tour companies or that local businesses in Louth get contracts from these junkets."

"In my opinion, there has to be targets set and progress reports given, otherwise it is a waste of Louth taxpayers money and I have raised and asked for the same for the last four years. I'm fed up.

"We are told each year at Budget Workshops and meetings how tight our budget is and how little maneourving we have with the same budget so spending money on local projects would benefit our county more," Yore added.

Last month, Frank Pentony, Cathaoirleach Colm Markey and Thomas McEvoy travelled to New York over the St Patrick's Day weekend where they met with officials from Tourism Ireland.

In 2016, CEO Joan Martin was among the officials who travelled to the US for a similar trip. Last year's trip cost in the region of €8,000 in travel and accommodation.

Last week's full council meeting was told the trip was budgeted. Mark Dearey said he felt there “may be value” in the trips. A full report has been ordered.