HOTEL MEETING GOES AHEAD WITHOUT DEVELOPERS
The special meeting called for last Monday, September 22 by Fermoy Mayor, Tadhg O’Donovan with the Lawton Group, developers of a proposed hotel on the Fermoy House site, went ahead despite the fact that the developers were not in attendance.
Six members of Fermoy Town Council, the town clerk and members of the press attended the meeting. The six councillors, including the mayor, expressed their disappointment, at the fact that the developers were not in attendance.
The councillors indicated that the developers didn’t inform them that they would not be in attendance, with Cllr Ailleen Pyne confessing that she found out that this might be the case from a member of the press upon arrival. The mayor highlighted the importance of the meeting as the members of the council should be fully conscious of what the developer proposed.
He went on to explain the sequence of events from the moment he received the letter from the Lawtons, dated August 5, when he was asked to make contact with the others councillors to arrange a meeting where the plans could be discussed, to calling the meeting of Monday, September 22, when he had asked the town clerk on September 8th to contact the councillors to advise them of this. He then claims to have written to the Lawtons to ask for confirmation of their attendance and received a letter in response, which acknowledged their willingness to attend. (from front page)
The mayor further claimed that the only inkling that the developers would not be not attending on the night came as a result of a conversation that took place between the developer and the town clerk, Ray Owens.
“I received a call from Mr. Lawton last Thursday asking me who would be at the meeting. I said I didn’t know who would be there. He went on to say that if all nine members of the council weren’t there, he would not be attending, as he was informed by some members that all councillors would not be present,” Mr Owens explained. The councillors at Monday’s meeting continued to express their frustration with the situation.
The mayor, Tadhg O’Donovan said, “What takes me aback is that the developer is not here. He gave us confirmation that he would be here. Then he came up with the pre condition that all nine councilors should be present. That has never happened in the past. This is a missed opportunity and it creates a division between the developer and the town council. I really believe that there was an opportunity here to find a solution. After tonight’s event I have to take a different route.”
One councillor, in particular, proposed the following motion, “that this council inform the Lawtons that dialogue is suspended as of now by this council due to breach of trust.”
Cllr Carey didn’t have to wait for a response for too long, as Sinn Fein Cllr. Seamus Coleman, opposed the idea based on the belief that dialogue is important.
“The fact that the developers haven’t attended the meeting is an insult to the council, but I believe there is still an opportunity.”
“Tonight is an accumulation of stuff that has gone wrong in the past few weeks. I think without dialogue nothing will happen. Dialogue is vital. If this motion is passed dialogue will be finished,” he concluded.
The meeting ended with the mayor proposing that a letter be written by the town council to the developer expressing the disappointment of the council with the current situation and that it is the prerogative of the mayor to call a special meeting, as well as the fact that council will not accept any preconditions associated with this special meeting. The proposal was backed by all councilors present.
“It is important that the message goes across to the developer,” the mayor concluded.
Thursday 25th September 7:31pm