An emergency meeting has been called by Granard Town Council with Longford’s Co Manager, Tim Caffrey over funding for the Motte.
The Leader has learned that there is a shortfall of approximately €20,000 for the purchase of the historic Motte in the north Longford town and the onus is now on Longford Co Council to plug the gap.
However, it has also emerged that the Office of Public Works (OPW) will become the sole owner of the facility, even though it will provide just 25% of the overall cost. Granard Town Council has so far provided 50% of the purchase price.
During last week’s town council meeting in Granard, Cllr PJ Reilly (FF) called for the meeting and pointed to the ‘very worrying state of affairs’ that had emerged in relation to the purchase.
“The County Manager needs to make contact with the minister or his department and get this deal finalised,” added Cllr Reilly. “This is an opportunity that cannot be missed; there are some very important decisions to be made. We must close the deal on this; it will be the jewel in the crown for Granard if the Motte goes into public ownership.”
Town Manager, Jack Kilgallen said ‘a lot of buttons’ had been pushed at this stage, adding that the minister was well aware of the 25% shortfall. “One or other of the parties involved is going to have to make up that shortfall, and I am confident that Longford Co Council will row in behind us on this,” he added. “The problem I have at the moment is that I have no proposals to go to the table with.”
Cllr Maura Kilbride Harkin (FG) then said that she accompanied Minister Jimmy Denihan to the site of the Motte alongside Deputy James Bannon (FG) just two weeks ago, and she pointed to the words from the minister on that occasion.
“The Minister told me that we should not delay on this; he said it was imperative that the site be bought for the people of Granard. I think it is a great opportunity and we will not get a chance like this again. Never. Never. Never.”
It was agreed that a meeting with the co manager would be arranged, however no indication of when and where that meeting will take place has been released.