Councillors approve sale of prime Mayo building for €100,000 less than it costs ratepayers

THE sale of a two-storey premises by Mayo County Council in the heart of Castlebar for a mere €30,000 has raised eyebrows.

One public representative, Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, says he is 'stunned by the paltry price involved'.

The property in question is a former bookshop at Bridge Street, purchased by the council some years ago for demolition to facilitate road widening.

However, the property is no longer required for this purpose and is being disposed of.

According to Councillor Kilcoyne, when auctioneers and legal fees are taken into account the former Castlebar Town Council paid more than €130,000 for the building when they bought it.

Following an open tender competition, the proprietors of Bridge St public house have offered €30,000 for the building.

Members of Castlebar Municipal District approved the transfer of ownership at a meeting on the proposal of Councillor Blackie Gavin, seconded by Councillor Cyril Burke.

However, there was one dissenting voice – that of the cathaoirleach, Councillor Kilcoyne.

He told the meeting he had concerns about the matter but did not elaborate.

However, the Independent representative later told The Connaught Telegraph that in principle he felt he no choice but to vote against the sale on the grounds of the 'insignificant' price involved.

He claimed the council is losing out on at least €100,000 at a time when its housing list is at an all-time high and rents are rising for those already in local authority housing.

"If they (council) spent a modest sum of money on the building it would make a flat for an elderly person," Councillor Kilcoyne stated.

Castlebar Municipal District – despite the cathaoirleach's reservations – approved a Section 183 Notice in accordance with the Local Government Act, 2001, to transfer ownership.

The transfer was also approved at the September meeting of Mayo County Council.

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