Councillors express disappointment at failure to secure Kenmare property

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Councillors have expressed their disappointment at the failure of Kerry County Council to secure a property in Kenmare.

Last February, it was announced that Kerry was to benefit from funding under the Rural Regeneration Scheme; this included a grant of €275,000 for the purchase and development of the Ceann Mara Net Factory in Kenmare.

Kerry County Council was notified on April 23rd that its bid was unsuccessful.

The Ceann Mara Net Factory would have been used for the local men’s shed, an artists’ hub and storage.

At the recent meeting of the South and West Municipal District, Councillor Johnny Healy-Rae said the council shouldn’t have been in a position to be outbid in the first place, as the property was on sale for years.

Independent councillor Dan McCarthy said one of his first motions when he became a councillor in 2014 was to get the council to rent or buy the property; he says the outcome is very disappointing.

Kenmare councillor Patrick Connor-Scarteen says it’s particularly disappointing, as funding had been secured from the Department of Rural and Community Development.

In response, Director of Services with Kerry County Council John Breen says the sale was conducted through a ‘best bids’ process, where the council was required to put in a sealed bid and have no chance to rebid if not successful.

Councillor Johnny Healy-Rae says that process was only in effect for a short period of time, and the council had ample time prior to the sale to secure the site.