Shocking waste of taxpayers money by Galwayc City Council to the tune of €10.5 million
Late 2006 on a site on the outskirts of Galway City at Keeraun on the Ballymoneen Road, a developer bought a 7.6 acre plot in two sections off a local farmer for €6.5 million. Early 2008, Galway City Council bought the plots off the developer for an eye watering €10.5 million, a cool €4 million in profit for the developer. To date Galway City Council has done nothing with this uber expensive land, had not paid a cent off the €10.5 million loan, instead paying interest only. The sites had been earmarked for social and affordable housing, but instead the latest proposal is for a halting site to address traveller needs. One can only speculate that this would be the most expensive halting site in the world, but of course it's worse than that as this site and others like is costing the City Council €600,000 a year in interest only payments. Serious questions arise as to who in the Council and the Department of Environment sanctioned this eye watering purchase. The site was not accepted into Nama for local authorities, the Land Aggregation Scheme.
A member of the PAC, Marc MacSharry, who are to investigate this matter on Thursday commented that “On the surface it would appear that because a lack of process there is a major loss, it would appear the executive entered into the deal without seeking or receiving the approval of the elected members of the council. It would seem to be an extraordinary premium to be paid for the land by the council and it is clear that someone was caught napping. Under the various acts the Department of the Environment have to sanction all borrowing so we need to know on what basis was this allowed happen.”
What makes such apparent wastage even more galling is that Galway City Council has built zero social houses since 2009 and will not be building any until 2018. What say p.ie, will heads roll over this, will the PAC be able to get to the bottom of this or will it simply be brushed off as 'mistakes were made back then, times are different now, no individual is to blame it is the system and we are putting in place several expensive reviews and consultations to rectify weaknesses in the system
At €1.38 million an acre, it demonstrates that at the higher echelons of Galway City Council and the Department of Environment, the concept of value for money did not even feature. Like seriously, what were these people thinking Even it it was developed for social housing, your could add at least €250,000 a unit at say 100 units in total or €25,000,000 to build the things and then probably another 2 million to finish off the place, provide community facilities and such, to bring the total to something like €32 million. The mind boggles.
All Galway City Council official are earning large salaries and will have gold plated defined Benefit Pensions and large lump sums when they retire...there is NO performance management so they can make as many c0ck ups at they wish during their working lifes....thats public service for you!!....Gravvyyy Train!!
Basically if you make a large Fúck Up you should be sacked and they shouldn't be paid and perked like they are in the first place, it engenders an Apartheidal relationship with ordinary folk - how can it not?
Politics.ie is one of Ireland's leading politics and current affairs discussion websites with more than 600,000 visitors a month. Founded in 2003, Politics.ie has one of the most engaged, respected and influential politics and current affairs communities.