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SIPO house sale investigation is on hold

Longford County Manager Tim Caffrey

Longford County Manager Tim Caffrey

An investigation into the proposed sale of Longford County Manager, Tim Caffrey’s house at Clondra for €250,000 has been stalled.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin TD has outstanding vacancies to fill on the board of SIPO (Standards in Public Office commission) and it cannot proceed with its investigation until the Minister fills these.

A state grant of €250,000 was approved for the Muiriosa voluntary housing foundation to buy Mr Caffrey’s house however they subsequently withdrew from the deal.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Longford County Council declined a request from the ‘Irish Independent’ under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking to find out if Mr Caffrey sent a letter declaring his ownership of the property to County Mayor Larry Bannon, as is required under the 2001 Local Government Act.

The council also declined to release a copy of its independent valuation report of the Clondra property. It valued the house at €250,000 whereas the Muiriosa Foundation’s own valuation report valued it at €110,000.

The council said it would be inappropriate to release these documents, given the matter was now under “external investigation” by SIPO.

 

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