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‘Mushroom treatment’ over land ownership

THERE have been a number of enquiries regarding the future of a site at Shannon Town Centre, which is owned by Shannon Development and which has been earmarked for community use.

A letter to Shannon Town Council from the company’s asset manager, Gerry Fitzmaurice said, “Shannon Development has had a number of enquiries regarding the future use of the above site at Shannon Town Centre. In order to establish the level of interest and in compliance with the Code of Practice for the disposal of state assets, an advertisement was placed in the local media in February seeking proposals from the public for the acquisition of the site for the development of a community based project.

“Clare County Council was informed of our intentions in this regard at a liaison meeting in late November 2012.”

A second letter to the council, this one from the office of Minister Richard Bruton, stated that Shannon Development still holds three local sites. “The minister has made enquiries of Shannon Development in this matter. Shannon Development has confirmed that it currently owns three sites within the Shannon Town boundary as follows: 1. Site beside the Garda station of 1.39 acres; 2. Site at Shannon Town Centre of 1.18 acres; 3. Lands at Ballycasey of 2.33 acres

“Shannon Development has explained that sites one and two were not transferred to Clare County Council in 2004 as they formed part of private sector joint venture developments at that time.

Site 3 was retained for the extension of the Ballycasey Craft Centre. Shannon Development has indicated to the minister that ownership of these lands within the Shannon Town boundary was retained by Shannon Development with the full agreement of Clare County Council. As part of the handover process at that time, Shannon Development provided funding to Clare County Council towards the cost of upgrading roads and footpaths.”

A number of councillors complained that they hadn’t been made aware of the meeting between the county council and Shannon Development, with Councillor Sean McLoughlin saying they were getting “the mushroom treatment.”

Councillor Gerry Flynn said that while he is also a member of the County Council he hadn’t been aware of any such meetings.

Labour’s Tony McMahon said that he was “disappointed” that the town council hadn’t been involved and said there is “a lack of interest in providing essential services or community facilities in Shannon.”

Independent Patricia McCarthy said that she was disappointed that these meetings were taking place, without the council’s knowledge, while Independent Cathy McCafferty said she was “disgusted” at being left in the dark.

Councillor Sean McLoughlin said he believed that Shannon Development owned more than the three sites and that they held property close to both the Oakwood and Tola Park.

Town manager, Bernadette Kinsella said she didn’t know who had been at the meeting between the county council and Shannon Development.


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