Tuesday 25 April 2017

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Galway Independent

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Public Accounts Committee to look into city council land purchase

Wednesday, 15th February, 2017 1:01am

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have received a dossier detailing the purchase of a field by Galway City Council in 2007. The field at Keeraun on the Ballymoneen Road was bought by the council for €10.5 million, €4 million more than it was sold for only months earlier.

The Dáil’s spending watchdog will now look into the purchasing of the 7.6 acres of land, after PAC members agreed that a strategy be put in place to examine the circumstances surrounding the purchase and the possible loss of €4 million to the taxpayer.

The issue was raised with members by Fianna Fáil Sligo/Leitrim TD, Marc MacSharry, who has said that while PAC does not have any remit over local authorities, it does have remit over government departments. The Department of Environment and Local Government, which approved the loan to purchase the land, will be called in by PAC.

Deputy MacSharry said that questions needed to be asked about why the council paid a premium of €4.1 million on the lands above what it was sold for months earlier. Nothing has been built on the lands since it was bought nine years ago.

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