Answers sought on property deal

Longford Town Council headquarters. Photo: Michelle Ghee.

Longford Town Council headquarters. Photo: Michelle Ghee.

Longford Town Council have requested that County Manager, meets them to explain the situation regarding the purchase of three properties by the local authority back in 2009 to facilitate a €100m commercial development.

Cllr James Keogh requested the compilation of a report on the properties in Water Street that were the subject of Compulsory Purchase Orders to facilitate the proposed Longford Town Centre development.

Cllr Keogh suggested the Town Council was €650,000 out of pocket as a result of the transaction and when an out of town retail park didn’t proceed, the deal fell through.

He asked when could the council expect to get their money back. Cllr Keogh stressed that Town Clerk, Dan Rooney or current Town Manager, Frank Sheridan, weren’t party to what occurred in ‘09, but added: “It looks like someone is trying to bury this before this council winds up.”

Mayor Paul Connell said he hoped the County Manager would make himself available for a special meeting to help clear matters up. He also revealed that the developer has made a substantial offer in regard to the outstanding sum.

Cllr Keogh expressed the view that the council should be reimbursed all the monies.

“It is five years since the local authority consented to sell the property to the developer, but there has been no movement.”

Cllr Peggy Nolan said every decision in regard to the proposed development was made in the best interest of the town.

Cllr Keogh claimed Mayor Connell should have abstained from the original vote as he works for one of the interested parties. Cllr Connell demanded a retraction, however Cllr Keogh refused.

Mr Sheridan said a report was being prepared and that legal opinion was being sought.

Cllr Michael Connellan said there was unanimous support for the compilation of a report and that if the County Manager was available the chamber would appreciate it.

Mr Rooney said records would show the Council approved every step of the process and that negotiations were ongoing regarding the site. He added that the agreement councillors voted on only expired last December.




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