Following on from the chaotic scenes that played out at the September meeting of Mayo County Council, where Independent councillor Frank Durcan stayed on his feet and continued to talk over other councillors as the Cathaoirleach tried to get on with the order of business, Mayo County Council has this week responded to one of the issues Cllr Durcan raised about the purchase of lands outside Castlebar, through a statment issued by county secrectary John Condaon.
In the statement the county secretary laid out the history and costs of the deal for the 1.5 acres of land outside Castlebar. The purchase of the lands related to improvment works on a 3km stretch of road on the R311 (the Castlebar to Newport road ).
The council paid a couple a total of €500,000 for land purchase (€190,000 ) and accommodation works (€310,000 ) including 746m of stone walls and 240m of block wall on both sides of the road.
In the statement, Condon said that a deal to buy the lands had been agreed between the council and the owners on June 18 2004, and the fee agreed between the council and the landowner was €190,000, a list of accommodation works the council would carry out was also agreed, and the compensation was “in line to that agreed with other land owners” who were affected.
Mr Condon’s statement continuted saying that the acquisition involved the severance of the landowner’s home which was occupied by his mother, his father’s cottage which was let to tenants at the timr and lands and sheds from farm buildings. The project also needed the relocation of the entrance drives to both houses and, because of the level of the new road, drainage works to be carried out on fields.
Mr Condon’s statement also confirmed that as part of the deal, 240m of block walls and 746m of stone walls were required on both sides of the road, and the council had agreed to carry out construction those and of cattle pens. However a dispute arose between the landowner and the council and they were unable to carry out the agreed works. Later agreement was reached whereby the landowner would carry out the works himself and the figure agreed between the parties was €310,000, and according to Mr Condon’s statement, “The council could have not completed the works for less.”