County council votes to not operate its housing function in city area after furore over city buying Killtullagh property

'There are ample properties available in the city council area, but they choose not to use them' - Cllr Jim Cuddy

The Galway County Council has voted to not attempt to operate its housing function in the functional area of the Galway City Council without a democratic agreement being reached between itself and councillors of the city council.

The motion which was tabled by Independent councillor Jim Cuddy, comes over a disagreement over a city owned property in Killtullagh, Oranmore.

Cllr Cuddy said the city council were putting its social housing problems onto the county council and accused a city council official of a misuse of power.

He said; “There are ample properties available in the city council [area] but they choose not to [use them]. They choose to shove their social housing problems on the county. The county has very good record when it comes to social housing. Why should we take on the burden?

“The [residents of this property] in Killtullagh are represented by no one. It is a city problem but in the county. There is no redress to the city council. The county didn’t cause the problem. This is a flagrant misuse of power by a Galway City Council official.”

Cllr Cuddy also said that if an agreement could not be reached between both chambers then all works should cease immediately on the property and it should be put up for sale.

Fianna Fáil councillor Shelly Herterich Quinn questioned who was responsible for the upkeep of the property and from whom did the residents seek representation.

Fine Gael councillor Jimmy McClearn said city officials told city members that it was the county council who were the first to purchase properties outside their jurisdiction, therefore city councillors were happy for the city authority to operate its housing function in the county.

In response to the councillors’ queries, chief executive of the Galway County Council, Kevin Kelly, said the responsibility of the property was that of the city and that the county would have no role in the management or maintenance of the house in the future. He also added he was only anecdotally aware of the county purchasing a house in the city and suggested it may have taken place more than 30 years ago.

The motion was unanimously agreed with only Green Party councillor Alastair McKinstry noting his objection.

 

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