Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources Denis Naughten was in Boyle on Thursday night to address a public meeting.
Approximately thirty people were present in St. Josephs Hall for the meeting chaired by Frank Geelan.
Among the diverse items discussed were broadband, greenways, rural crime, garda station closure, farming, anti social behaviour, the Courthouse, a hotel for Boyle, relocating historical artifacts to the town and an early morning train to Sligo.
Speakers from the floor included Senator Frank Feighan, Padraig Sheridan, Padraig Butler, Sean O’Dowd, Raymond Maughan, Teresa Spellman, Joe O’Donnell, Gerry Emmett, Breege Sharkey, Geno Mattimoe and Neil McGarry.
Senator Feighan spoke first and welcomed Minister Naughten to Boyle, assuring him of his assistance in working to develop the town.
In relation to broadband Padraig Butler spoke of the speed he could only obtain with a pay as you go service while Sean O Dowd said “most people in Boyle are happy with the broadband service”. The Minister was not in agreement saying he had been told by a person in Boyle that he could only get 6mb download. This the Minister said was not acceptable and he is anxious that all households in Ireland would have a minimum of 30mb download and 6mb upload in future.
On the subject of industry, Minister Naughton spoke of the need to talk positively of the town as potential investors would have “their homework” done via the internet before deciding on a location.
“The last thing Boyle needed was to be seen negatively on Google” he added.
The Minister said Boyle had a lot more going for it than some towns with Lough Key, King House and Boyle Abbey right on our doorstep.
The day of a Minister bringing 100 jobs to a town was “long gone” he said.
He also spoke of the need to assist exisiting local firms to expand, the need to encompase the internet for trade and the importance of working with the Town Team to access funding.
Gerry Emmett highlighted the red tape that was hindering business while Geno Mattimoe asked “What chance had Boyle of attracting private investment when state investment had pulled out”.
Sean O’Dowd spoke of the “lack of transparency by organisations in this town” with “newsletters only issued to their own members”.
Neil Mc Garry said there was a need for tour operators to come and see Boyle while Padraig Sheridan and Frank Geelan were told there was no chance of the Western Army Brigade being re established.
Rural Crime, the need for Boyle Garda Station to reopen and farming were highlighted by Breege Sharkey.
Minister Naughten said he would discuss the matter of an early morning commuter train to Sligo with the relevant Minister and Irish Rail.
If Boyle was to get a hotel then we needed to “talk your town up and be positive and you might get some one to invest in a hotel”. He added that he felt a hotel in Boyle would be “a huge success”.
Minister Naughten confirmed to a question from the floor that he had met with Boyle Town Team and Boyle Chamber of Commerce.
Frank Geelan closed the meeting by thanking all for attending especially Minister Naughten.
(Boyletoday.com photograph shows Frank Geelan, Minister Naughten, Gerry Mattimoe and Neil McGarry at last night’s public meeting in St. Joseph’s Hall)