Director of Services with Mayo County Council Catherine McConnell insists there is no “sweet deal” between the local authority and the Hughes family in connection with the sale of almost seven acres of land in Westport.
The sale of land on Westport’s Golf course road from Mayo County Council to Inishoo Management Ltd , a Hughes owned company, was given the green light by elected councillors of the Westport- Belmullet Municipal District at the monthly meeting of the district earlier this week.
That now opens the door for the sale of the land to be approved by the entire council at the next monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.
There was extensive, and at times heated debate, at the Municipal District meeting, as some councillors argued that they had not been given all the necessary information to decide on the sale of the land in question and the value of land secured and surrendered by Mayo County Council, in the process.
The situation is more complicated than the simple sale of a piece of council land to a private company.
There are in fact three parcels of land involved. Westport GAA urgently requires land to extend its facilities as its membership increases, Mayo county council had some land to provide for their needs under a lease agreement, but not enough. That introduced a third party Inishoo Management Ltd who had appropriate land for the GAA expansion but have a company policy not to sell land. But Mayo County Council and Inishoo Management Ltd are prepared to swop land in an effort to address the situation.
Eventually, councillors without taking a vote, approved the sale of 6.7 acres of land at Westport Demesne to Inishoo Managent Ltd for 360,000 euro, Inishboo management takes ownership of 4.1 acres of Mayo County Council land in exchange. And at Monday’s meeting councillors also approved the lease of land at Westport Demesne to Westport GAA.
FG Cllr Peter Flynn had many questions about the deal between MCC and the private company at the meeting and asked for a decision on the matter to be deferred. While FF councillor Brendan Mulroy was adamant that the matter needed to be resolved immediately or it could scupper the deal that Westport GAA needed to expand its facilities.
Both councillors joined Midwest News Editor Teresa O'Malley on the lunchtime news. Teresa began by asking Cllr Flynn what were his concerns about these transactions and if he still has concerns..