Fine Gael councillor Jarlath Munnelly has called for the proceeds of the proposed sale of 1.42 hectares of land owned by Mayo County Council in Killala to Killala Precision Components Ltd to be ring fenced for projects in the town.
The elected members of the Ballina Municipal District gave their approval for the disposal of the lands at their February meeting this week. Director of services for Mayo County Council, Paul Benson, told the members: “We were approached by the owner to acquire lands as he sees the possibility of expanding the business and is confident that it will happen. The business has been in Killala for 30 years now and it was bought two years ago by an employee. They have bought additional property to the front of it already, they want to make sure they have the capacity to expand in the future.” He continued: “They have 37 employees which is very big in a town like Killala. There are no immediate plans to develop the lands, but there is an attempt to grow the business, and they have had success in the recent past with that and hope to build on that. The fear is that they would be restricted in building on that if they don’t own the adjoining lands in the future. There are some discussions to take place yet, and it has to go to the full council to, we need your approval first.”
Cllr Munnelly told the meeting: “I propose we proceed, it has been a very good employer over many years through its former owners and now with its current. It’s a remarkable story really, manufacturing precision engineering goods in a small town in the west of Ireland, and largely being export driven and the success they have had to date. I’d like to think the money from this sale should be ring fenced and kept in Killala there are certainly a number of projects that I could think of it could be spent on.” He continued: “I think the sale should be very much tied down to the extension of their own business only, clearly what’s envisaged here is to expand the business, but if we could tie in a condition that we were selling for the specific expansion of their business.”
Independent councillor Gerry Ginty added: “I’d like to support what Cllr Munnelly has said, that any money from the sale be used for the community in Killala, a lot could be done in a small town like Killala with that money.”