TOWN HAS SUFFERED NO MAJOR FINANCIAL LOSS BECAUSE OF 'HOLE IN THE GROUND' SAGA SAYS MANAGER

19 October 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Strong assurances were given by Town Manager David Fallon to Monday night’s meeting of Monaghan Town Council that no significant financial loss had been inflicted on the authority due to the discontinuation of the mixed use development project in the centre of the county capital.
Mr Fallon said the developers of the project, who were now reinstating its site as a car-park, had given commitments to the Council that they would meet legal and other costs arising from the stalled development, and denied that there was anything approaching a €1 million loss arising.
The Manager was asked for clarification on the issue as a consequence of comments made by Cathaoirleach Seamus Treanor, who accused the Sinn Féin members of the Council of making political capital of the fact that the project site was now being reinstated, and said they were claiming principal credit for this development when they had been “cheerleaders” of the original proposal.
Some of the statements made by the Cathaoirleach provoked an angry reaction from the SF and other councillors present, with Fine Gael’s Mary Carroll telling Colr Treanor that she felt it was unfair of him to launch a personal attack on another member or party on the Council from the position of Chair.
Colr Treanor told Colr Carroll that she had “a good pensionable job” while people in businesses in Dublin Street had lost their jobs because, he believed, of the disruption to trading caused by the mixed use project.
The Cathoirleach subsequently withdrew this remark at the request of David Maxwell, after Colr Carroll had left the chamber in an apparent reaction to Colr Treanor’s comments.
Raising the issue, Colr Treanor said that, at the September Town Council meeting, the Town Manager had announced that “the now infamous hole in the ground” [Colr Treanor’s words] was to be filled in and returned to its former use as a car-park.
The Cathaoirleach added that, as someone who was opposed to this project from the outset, he tried to be as measured as possible in response to this news, and he had believed that, as far as the Town Council and himself were concerned, the matter was dealt with.
However, he went on, a SF member of the Council, Seán Conlon, had tried to make political gain by running to the local media to announce that the hole would be filled in, mainly at SF’s behest.
The Cathaoirleach said he would commend Colr Conlon for his apology to the traders of Dublin Street and the surrounding area, who lost their business and their livelihood as a result of the project.
“Unfortunately this came too late, considering you and your party were the cheerleaders of this project,” Colr Treanor added.
He wanted to remind Colr Conlon that this failed project had cost Monaghan Town Council over €1 million of rate- and rent-payers’ money. He hoped that Colr Conlon and his party would now put equal …

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