Saturday 23 February 2008

Council to discipline official over land sale

Cork County Council has begun disciplinary proceedings against a council official following an inquiry into a controversial land sale in north Cork in which the council negotiated to buy land for €11.6 million that had earlier been on sale for €8 million.

The council yesterday confirmed it had completed an internal inquiry into its planned purchase of 20 acres of land zoned for housing at Deerpark, off the Limerick Road in Charleville, north Cork, for €11.6 million in April 2006.

In a statement it said: "A disciplinary process has now commenced into the conduct of an official and a statement is being prepared for An Garda Síochána. It is anticipated that the disciplinary process will take in the order of three months to complete."

The council decided in May 2006 not to proceed with the purchase, leading the vendors, Brian Cremin and Denis O'Reilly, to sue the council. A settlement was reached in the commercial court of the High Court, under which the council bought the land for €9.75 million rather than the purchase price of €11.6 million.

Yesterday the council confirmed its internal inquiry has continued since the court settlement and "a comprehensive and in-depth investigation" had been completed.

The Irish Times

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