SHANNON Development has confirmed in a letter to Kilrush area councillors that they have sold one of their enterprise units on the Carrigaholt Road in Kilkee. However in the letter, John O’Toole, asset management executive, did not say to whom the unit has been sold or at what price.
Another of the units remains unsold, as does a 1.67 acre site. The Shannon Development-owned units had been mooted as a possible headquarters for a geology centre in West Clare.
Last month consultants conducted a feasibility study relating to the possible provision of a geology centre in Kilkee or the surrounding area.
“The industrial estate is one of the units they are looking at but they are looking at other areas for the feasibility study as well. From my own point of view the industrial units would be absolutely ideal. If this geology centre opens the outcome would be absolutely phenomenal for the town,” Kilkee Town Councillor Paddy Collins said at the January monthly meeting.
At Monday’s West Clare Electoral Area meeting, Councillor Pat Keane said that as the buildings were paid for originally by public money, Shannon Development should reveal who they have sold them to.
“These buildings were provided by public money and it’s disappointing that they’re being sold without the information being given as to who they’re being sold to. It’s fine if they’re being sold to somebody that is going to provide some jobs or some business in the area,” Councillor Keane said.
“I think it would be better if Shannon Development, when they are selling these units, that they make the council aware who they are being sold to. I would have to express my disappointment at the fact that we are not aware of who they are being sold to or what they’re being used for. I think it’s important that we’re out in the open with public funding,” Councillor Keane added.
Last November Kilkee community activist and retired pharmacist John Williams expressed anger at Shannon Development’s decision to advertise the sale of the industrial units. Mr Williams told the The Clare Champion that plans were afoot in Kilkee and the Loop Head peninsula to establish a geology centre, which was likely to have been based in the industrial units.
“To say we are outraged is an understatement. A feasibility study ‘Loophead Geology Experience’ has commenced and is evaluating a number of issues in setting up a major geology centre in Loophead. One of these issues is a suitable location and the enterprise estate in Kilkee was a front-runner,” the long time former Kilkee Chamber secretary stated.
At the January meeting of Kilkee Town Council, town clerk John Corry said that Shannon Development had indicated to him that they would confirm what was happening regarding the units. “The response that I got was that they are going to come back to me in the middle of January. But they indicated that there is no certainty that the buildings will be sold,” he said at the time.