Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Another junket - another waste of taxpayer's money

27 October, 2005

Sinn Féin Waterford City Councillors David Cullinane and Joe Kelly have reacted furiously to news that four councillors and a number of officials are traveling to Europe to attend Sail Training Internationals Annual Conference. Both councilors Cullinane and Kelly only found out about the trip through a third party not connected with the council. Four city councillors, the City Manager, a number of officials and the city councils tall ships event manager are all traveling courtesy of the taxpayer.

Cllr David Cullinane said:

"The Tall Ships event was a hugely positive one and was beneficial to the people of Waterford and beyond. On the back of this success it is important that we maintain good relations with Sail Training International. It is also important for Waterford to be represented at its annual conference but I fail to see the need for so many people from the city to attend. Is it really necessary for eight council representatives, including four city councilors to travel? Surely it would be more than suffice for the City Manager, the Tall Ships event manager, the event chairperson and one councillor to attend.

"This is another example of wasting taxpayer‚s money. There isn‚t a week goes by when the council is not citing resources as an impediment to delivering on much needed local projects and services. There seems to be no accountability and transparency when it comes to foreign trips. At the end of the day it is our money which is being spent and wasted. Those responsible for organizing this trip have succeeded in turning what would have otherwise been a worthwhile beneficial trip into a questionable junket. It is my view and the view of Councillor Joe Kelly that the City Council and the City Manager have serious questions to answer in relation to this." ENDS

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