Tuesday 23 October 2018

€1.5 million Briery Gap shortfall

Government has put up only 6% of €4 million refit cost for town theatre

Maria Herlihy

'Everyone must put their shoulder to the wheel and get the Briery Gap over the line,' - was the view of chairman Cllr Ted Lucey (FG) at the monthly Blarney Macroom municipal district meeting. 

However, he readily admitted that the shortfall of €1.5 million of a "staggering" €4 million budget was substantial. 

He said: "Minister Michael Creed is following up with the Department on it and while the amount of money is huge everybody must put their shoulder to the wheel." 

Cllr Gobnait Moynihan (FF) said that the Briery Gap needs to be put back "in its rightful place in the town." 

"We need support from the Government and the council on this. The Government has only put 6% on the table which is pathetic," she said. 

The meeting heard that Cllr Lucey, Cllr Michael Creed (FG) and Cllr Gobnait Moynihan (FF) attended a meeting with the board of the Briery Gap to discuss the massive shortfall of money. 

However, this drew the ire of Cllr Bob Ryan (FF) and Cllr Des O'Grady (SF) who said they did not get any invitation by the board of the Briery Gap to attend the meeting. 

Cllr Bob Ryan (FF) said he was disappointed that he was not invited as there were "six councillors" working for the region.

"I have always had a keen interest in this district and since I was elected I have operated a-politically on every issue," he said. 

"There were three councillors left out of the loop and that error should be made right," said Cllr Ryan. 

In response, Cllr Creed (FG) said that there wasn't "any malice" at all as everyone wants to get the Briery Gap back in operation. 

Cllr Creed said at the meeting there was "simply a synopsis of where the Briery Gap is presently at."  He said what is the big issue is the cost of €4 million to resurrect the building. 

"There is a shortfall of €1.5 million and the Briery Gap is a huge loss to the town," he said. 

Councillors were in agreement that they must start looking at going down the road of EU funding to brdige the massive shortfall.