Coun­cil­lors be­gin le­gal pro­ceed­ings against Ed­die Sheehy

Bray People - - NEWS -

TWO MEM­BERS of Wick­low County Coun­cil have be­gun le­gal pro­ceed­ings against County Man­ager Ed­die Sheehy, al­leg­ing they were de­famed in a row over the coun­cil’s pur­chase of a €3 mil­lion hous­ing site.

Coun­cil­lors Barry Nevin and Tommy Cullen ini­ti­ated the le­gal ac­tion which be­gan on Mon­day at Wick­low Cir­cuit Court.

In 2011 the elected mem­bers of Wick­low County Coun­cil had to ap­prove the bor­row­ing of €3 mil­lion to pur­chase the 1.4022 hectares of land at Tree Trouts, Charles­land near Grey­stones.

A com­pul­sory pur­chase or­der for the site was is­sued by Wick­low County Coun­cil in 2006 for so­cial hous­ing. How­ever, an agree­ment over the price of the land couldn't be agreed. The mat­ter went to ar­bi­tra­tion and a fi­nal price of €3 mil­lion was reached in March 2011.

Cllr. Nevin, Cllr. Cullen and Cllr. Jimmy O’Shaugh­nessy had se­ri­ous reser­va­tions over the pur­chase and com­plained to the Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment, Phil Ho­gan and raised the is­sue at the Oireach­tas Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee.

Sea­mus Wolfe SC was ap­pointed by Min­is­ter Ho­gan to in­ves­ti­gate the deal.

In the re­port, Mr. Wolfe found that with ef­fect from Septem­ber 2006 the coun­cil re­mained legally com­mit­ted to pur­chase the CPO land at Charles­land.

Speak­ing at the court on Mon­day, Cllr. Nevin said he was ‘shocked’ when the County Man­ager is­sued a press re­lease in 2013 claim­ing that in ef­fect the com­plaint had caused a de­lay in the land deal, which along with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, cost the coun­cil €200,000.

Cllr. Nevin felt that the press re­lease pre­sented him as some­one who had wasted coun­cil money and wasn’t fit to rep­re­sent his con­stituents.

The hear­ing continues.

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