By Eugene McGloin
THE OLD country and western song said ''the key is in the mailbox.''
Sligo TD Tony McLoughlin got a different message from eager colleagues in the Dáil this week.
Read your mail they advised, rightly or wrongly, but certainly tongue in their cheeks.
TDs -- all Fianna Fáil it must be said -- advised him to check his
internal mail when the deputy Fine Gael Whip was wrongfooted on a series
of grants for Sligo.
''Deputy McLoughlin should read his post. We all got an email about that,'' said Thomas Byrne from Meath.
time Thomas was seen or heard around these parts he was accused of
trying to wipe the eye of Cope Gallagher, his FF running mate for
In the Dáil Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
then got in on the act as he did a recital of fourteen villages in Sligo
getting grants even as he spoke.
Taoiseach explained three of his Ministers no less had taken off for
Longford to make the big announcement, led by Michael Ring.
Just after lunchtime Wednesday
party leaders Michael Martin and Gerry Adams quizzed the Taoiseach on
proposals for new legislation. It all looked 'dry' and unpromising.
Tony McLoughlin rose to enquire re: progress on the Government's €21
million plan to enhance and develop small towns and villages across
Said the Sligo TD: ''Many of these towns in my constituency, Sligo-Leitrim, are suffering badly as a result of the property-led economic crash and the recession.
''What proposals does the Government intend to put in place to enhance the towns and villages?
''Is the Government committed to the three-year plan for the village and town renewal programme,'' asked Deputy McLoughlin.
The Taoiseach responded, "There is indeed a programme for Government commitment to advance a town and village renewal scheme.
"Deputy McLoughlin may be interested to know that the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Deputy Ring, and the Ministers of State, Deputies Moran and Kyne, are in Longford announcing €21 million in funding for towns and villages, including 14 projects in County Sligo,Tubbercurry, Strandhill, Rosses Point, Gurteen, Easky, Coolaney, Carraroe, Carney.......