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Budget cuts in Sligo could see coroners' fees put to rest

The Council’s budget will make efforts to tackle debt from establishing water infrastructure.

Image: dead body via shutterstock

NEW BUDGETARY MEASURES passed Sligo County Council has seen coroners’ fees cut.

The service cost the Council around €160,000 annually, although this figure fluctuated from depending on the number of inquests conducted in any given year.

The measure passed at the Council’s budgetary meeting this evening.

The cost of running the coroners’ service has now been transferred back to central government through the Department of Justice – as the service is not directly tied to Council operations.

Water development

Financial difficulties endured by the Council has arisen from investment in water infrastructure over a ten-year period between 2000 and 2010. In this time around €110 million was invested in water services in the County.

€70 million of this came from central government while another €40 million was contributed by the local authority.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, local Fine Gael Councillor Hubert Keaney said:

We made the investment [in water], and by coincidence, over time, the block grant being given to Sligo County Council by Government was reduced.

Running cost for the water-treatment facilities, which the Council was responsible for, were increased over time – the cost rising from €5 million in 2008 to €10 million in 2013. 

The main waste-water treatment plant in Sligo was costing the local council €1.2 million a year to run.

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Costs relating to the running of the plants have now been taken over by Irish Water, although the Council still carries debt of around €90 million tied to its time running the service.

Also the Council is currently has a deficit of around €20 million.

Last year their budget amounted to €62 million, requiring the local authority to borrow a further €1 million from central Government.

This year councillors have been asked to ring fence €1 million with the purpose of clearing their overall debt.

Read: ‘It breaks our hearts’: Body of missing Irishman found in Stockholm

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