Slattery impressive

This article is from page 52 of the 2014-05-27 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 52 JPG

A FINE Gael councillor says he could not “defend the indefensible” when asked about Government decisions regarding the set up of Irish Water.

Lahinch based councillor, Bill Slattery (FG), who polled an impressive 1,792 first preference votes says he heard a lot of anger on doorsteps, especially when the money paid in Clare through the property tax “left the county” to fund Irish Water.

“It is going to be a challenging five year, it’s been a challenging canvass. A lot of people were very disillusioned with the austerity measures that came in. It was difficult for us, as Government councillors, to try and explain how this happened,” he said.

“Sometimes you could not defend the indefensible, like the property tax not being sent down to the county. People didn’t mind paying it, but when it was taken out of the county to set up Irish Water, people were very annoyed. People were very annoyed, it was very difficult for us councillors to explain that on the doors.

“I don’t mind water charges, because water has to be paid for, but the secretaries and chairpersons of Group Water Schemes don’t know how the billing is going to go. They don’t know is it going to be a metre on a bulk head and they will have to go after [members] for the money. They [Irish Water] haven’t really thought it out right and people were very dissillousioned about that as well.”

Cllr Slattery paid tribute to Senator Martin Conway for helping him in his campaign.

“I’m delighted with the vote. I really didn’t think I’d get that vote when I arrived here yesterday morning. I thought I’d get 1,400 maybe, but to get more then 1,700 – I was over the moon. Since I was co-opted for Martin [Senator Martin Conway (FG)] in June 2011, I knew that Martin would be a hard act to follow. I hit the ground running, got stuck into the local issues and with the help of Martin I was able to do a lot of things myself. I haven’t been idle in the last three years,” he said.

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