During a heated debate on the relocation of the Right of Way in Dun Darrach, Longford Municipal District members vented their frustration as they heard that costs are likely to reach €24,000.
Longford town Engineer Eamonn Bennett informed members that while Irish Water was satisfied with the relocation of the Right of Way, ESB was not and there were also a number of property owners in the area who had sought legal advice in respect of the matter.
“It is going to cost about €18,000 plus the costs associated with building the wall to relocate that Right of Way,” announced Mr Bennett drawing gasps from members.
“What is the ESB’s problem?,” asked Cllr Mae Sexton in the aftermath of the revelations.
“I think it is totally intransigent on ESB’s part; we have given ESB pieces of land strategic to their developments on numerous occasions, so we are not happy with ESB’s attitude with regards to Dun Darrach, not happy at all.” Cllr Sexton continued.
“This is an absolute nonsense as far as I’m concerned.”
It then emerged that landowners were now involved in the process and costs were increasing all the time.
The meeting heard that because Longford Co Council was “extinguishing” the Right of Way, all associated costs would therefore lie with the local authority.
“Well the elephant in the room now is the legal costs,” a very disheartened Cllr Gerry Warnock (Ind) added.
“There is nothing to quantify these costs,” he said before pointing out that the matter was “needless expenditure on the public purse.”
“Until there is regulation within the legal profession this will be money for jam!.”
Mr Bennett then told the meeting that there was a total of nine solicitors acting on behalf of all parties involved and that the costs would have to be pulled from the Longford road’s budget.
“This is groundhog day,” announced Cathaoirleach, Cllr Seamus Butler (FF) in respect of the matter before the members.
“This is going on for the last 12 months and it needs to be finalised.”
Concluding, Cllr Sexton added, “Utter nonsense that it what this is; absolute bloody nonsense.”