Watchdog probe into County Manager house sale in progress

The house at The Mill, Clondra, which is at the centre of the controversy. Photo: Shelley Corcoran
An investigation into how over €250,000 of taxpayers’ money was sanctioned for the purchase of county manager Tim Caffrey’s house could be wrapped up by Christmas, writes Liam Cosgrove.

An investigation into how over €250,000 of taxpayers’ money was sanctioned for the purchase of county manager Tim Caffrey’s house could be wrapped up by Christmas, writes Liam Cosgrove.

The Standards in Public Office Commission confirmed this week to the Leader it had received a request by Longford Co Mayor Cllr Larry Bannon to look into the proposed sale.

Earlier this month, members of Longford County Council gave their backing for SIPO to investigate the matter.

Initially, council members held a private discussion on the matter before agreeing to refer the issue to SIPO. However Environment Minister Phil Hogan intervened and told Cllr Bannon that a full council meeting would have to be held.

Speaking this week, a spokesman for SIPO said that the referral was likely to come up for discussion when the Commission convenes for its December meeting.

“We can confirm the commission has received a complaint from the Mayor,” said the spokesman.

Mr Caffrey, who was not present at last week’s monthly meeting, has strenuously denied any wrongdoing by stating his interest in the house from the outset.

The voluntary housing body, the Muiriosa Foundation had been granted state funding to secure the Clondra based house before later pulling out of the deal.