The proposed disposal of a piece of land described as the “size of a postage stamp” for €10 was debated at last week’s meeting of Longford Town Council.
The piece of land, which was looked after by a former town councillor’s wife, is currently owned by Longford Town Council. The meeting heard that the council is prepared to sell the land to the woman’s family for €10 as a commemoration to the deceased.
Cllr Gerry Warnock (IND), whose family is involved in the proposed purchase, removed himself from the meeting during the discussion.
During the debate, Cllr Mae Sexton said: “This piece of property was never advertised and the fact of the matter is, that this is now out of the town council’s hands and in the legal domain.”
She added: “We cannot be seen to give a piece of property for €10 whether it is the size of a postage stamp or Croke Park.”
Town Clerk, Dan Rooney then told the meeting that he had sought legal advice on the matter and was informed that the “strip of land in question” was the property of the town council.
“From the town council’s point of view, there are no legal implications in relation to this,” added Mr Rooney.
Stating that the council had an obligation to be “transparent in our dealings,” Cllr Sexton said: “We cannot be seen as a council that did not advertise a piece of property, that now has legal implications. I contacted the Office of Public Works (OPW) about this and was informed that if the council makes a decision on the matter, all we as councillors can do is veto it.”
Cllr Michael Connellan (FF) also pointed out that he had supported Cllr Sexton’s proposal on the issue - at the last meeting - which suggested that the matter be left alone by the town authority until “all legal matters were dealt with”.
Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) said: “Now it looks like we were all in cahoots and up to some wrongdoing, when the actual fact is, that, the land is sold for €10 so that it can be taken in charge.”
She added that, “I have looked at that piece of land and it is not worth debating - it is not the length of a table, and yet here we are, once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons.”
In the end it was agreed to put the matter on hold “pending legal advice”.