Council seek to sell off asset to service Jeanie debt.

The debt on the Jeanie Johnston is equivalent to the salaries of 10 staff at Tralee Town Council according to Town Clerk John Breen. Mr Breen says he will try and make a case to the Minister for the Environment to allow the Council to sell an asset to service the Jeanie debt. The Town Council is committed to payments of 235,000 euro a year for the replica famine ship over the next 13 years.Local authorities are prohibited from selling assets to cover ongoing costs but the Town Clerk says he will ask the Minister to make a special case for the Council in light of the massive debt they are carrying forward each year for the Jeanie. Mr Breen says the debt is having a huge impact on the business of the council and he will ask the Minister to allow them to consider ways of alleviating this,The future of the the ship which is in Cork Harbour at the moment is still unsure. Calls for it to be brought to Fenit for the summer as a tourist attraction have so far been unsuccessful. Part of the problem is the Town Council no longer owns the ship. It`s owned by a company of which the council has a share. Efforts to get the Government to take her over are ongoing but with running costs of one million euro a year the Departments of Defence and Marine are reluctant. Insurance on the ship has been paid until the end of June and it`s hoped to have a decision by then.

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