KERRY County Councillor and Shannon Development chairman, John Brassil, has strenuously rejected allegations of any wrongdoing in voting to support a variation to the Kerry County Development Plan, allowing lands owned by Shannon Development be rezoned for industrial use. The Kilcolgan Residents Association have lodged a complaint to Shannon Development, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Kerry County Council, alleging a breach of ethics and a conflict of interest by Cllr Brassil.
The group, which is campaigning against the location of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Ballylongford Landbank,claims that a breach of ethics may have taken place when Cllr Brassil voted to rezone the land to allow for the development of the terminal.
In a letter to Enterprise Minster, Micheál Martin, as well as Kerry County Council and Shannon Development, the Kilcolgan Residents Association pointed out that in May 2006, Shannon LNG announced an option to purchase, subject to planning, the lands at Kilcolgan owned by Shannon Development - the board of which Councillor Brassil was a member.
They say that on March 12, 2007, Cllr Brassil voted in support of the variation to the Kerry County Development Plan 2003-2009 at Kerry County Council that rezoned lands in Kilcolgan owned by Shannon Development from rural general and secondary special amenity to industrial.
This, they said, ‘may' be seen as being a breach of ethics and a conflict of interest by Councillor John Brassil, adding that the Fianna Fáil councillor should have excused himself from the vote.
Speaking to The Kerryman this week, Cllr Brassil denied any wrong doing and said that he acted in a proper manner.
"At all times I have acted in a proper manner in any business with Kerry County Council," he said. "I have always acted for the benefit of the people I serve and bringing 500 jobs and a €500 million investment to north Kerry is absolutely what I'm elected for."
Shannon Development, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Kerry County Council have all confirmed they have received, and are examining, a letter of complaint from the Kilcolgan Residents Association.