TOWN COUNCIL LEAKING LIKE A SIEVE
Fermoy town councillor Michael Hanley feels very strongly that the press, “on behalf of the general public”, should attend any future meetings with regard to the building of a new hotel in Fermoy.
Cllr Hanley makes this point as he contends that confidentiality does not apply to the present membership of the council.
“Fermoy Town Council is leaking like a sieve. There is no way you can discuss something without it being leaked,” Cllr Hanley explains.
In a statement this week released to The Avondhu, Cllr Hanley says, “Following our meeting with the Lawton Company and the hotel experts from the hotel management company Vantage, there is supposed to be a tacit understanding that confidentiality would apply to the specific matters discussed.”
“However, for me, on mature reflection, confidentiality just simply does not apply to the workings of some of the present council membership. When one considers the decision taken by some member to ensure that a journalist had sight of a confidential letter from the Lawton Company, sent only to the nine person membership of the town council, one has to be filled with unease as to the purpose of that disclosure. To then presume to continue the saga under the guise of confidentiality just does not stand up.”
“Hence I believe that it is best going forward to have all future discussion on the subject of a hotel on the site in question, discussed in the presence of the press, on behalf of the general public. The sooner this discussion takes place the better, for if there can be no agreement within this council then it is best to leave the subject to another council to decide.”
In response to Cllr Hanley’s proposal for the press to be present at future discussions, The Avondhu sought the reaction of other council members. When initially contacted about the matter Cllr Tim Carrey refused to comment, then adding that he didn’t have a problem with Cllr Hanley’s proposal.
Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan pointed out that it was the “the secrecy of the meeting” that made him not attend.
“I didn’t attend the meeting because I felt it had to be made public. Otherwise it would only be creating unnecessary suspicion,” he continued. “Any issue relating to the rezoning of land must be done in an open and transparent manner.”
Cllr John Murphy disagreed that the next meeting should be open to the press and public.
“The next meeting is for the nine councillors only to discuss the matter of the hotel in private.”
Although abiding by the confidentiality clause, Sinn Fein Cllr Seamus Coleman was cynical about the ability of some councillors to keep things to themselves.
“It is only a matter of time until someone talks to the press. You might as well do it in public as the public has the right to know what happens,” he said.
In the course of a wide-ranging and lengthy article above, Cllr Peter Merrigan proclaims the value of a new hotel in Fermoy claiming that it would provide a muli-million euro boost to the local economy.
Thursday 29th May 7:14pm