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06 Jul 2022

Seconds out for round two of 'cuckoo' roads row between Laois councillors

Seconds out for round two of 'cuckoo' roads row between Laois councillors

Rows between Laois county councillors, which have soured the season of good will local politics, were evident at a December Municipal District meeting when two councillors crossed swords again over roads and political territory.

Cllr Conor Bergin, Fine Gael, and Cllr James Kelly, Independent, were the chief players in an exchange at a December meeting which was round two of a bout which began in November.

Back then, Cllr Kelly took umbrage at Cllr Bergin and the media over the highlighting of two big road safety projects near Mountrath and Borris-in-Ossory.

He also was put out by Cllr Bergin's issuing of photographs describing such actions as would be taken by "cuckoo councillors for want of a better word".

At the same meeting no councillor would back the Fine Gael man's motion for road safety work to be carried out on the same R445 - the old Dublin Limerick Road.

Cllr Bergin used the December meeting of the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District meeting to take aim at his independent colleague.

He supported a motion from Cllr Kelly on the need to resurface Mountrath’s Main Street as good teamwork. However, that’s where the good will ended.

He claimed his colleagues did not want to discuss the state of the Main Street in Mountrath other parts of the former N7 road last time out. His un-seconded motion called for funding for resurfacing of the Main Street; Pike of Rushall/Ballytarsna; Moneymore, Borris-In-Ossory as part of the 2022 investment programme for regional and local roads to be announced in 2022 next year.

“Unfortunately, nobody was willing to discuss it at the last meeting,” he said.

Cllr Kelly replied that his motion on Mountrath’s Main St focused on one particular area and not ‘half the municipal district’.

“There is no point in putting in a distance of 14 miles in a motion,” he said.

However, Cllr Bergin countered that councillors must go outside their own areas to do their job of representing as many people as possible.

“Some of us have to cover half the municipal area to get elected…That’s where the motions come from,” he said.

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