A public meeting is being organised in Creeslough to support a local group being taken to court for non-payment of development works.
The Doe Development Association, formed out of the Creeslough Tidy Towns Group, have been served with a plenary summons to the High Court from the company that carried out the work aimed at improving the village.
They claim they sought, and were granted, funds for the work through the Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC) and the tendering process was carried out by Donegal County Council but a later Government inspection of the process deemed the tendering process flawed and payment for the work stopped. The group says they applied for the funding and the work was completed 18 months ago by Northstone Construction.
Dr Caoimhín MacAoidh, CEO of DLDC said “DLDC has always taken the view that the grant should be paid and has worked intensely with the group to that aim. However, we could not get agreement with the Department to pay the grant. It remains our objective to pay the grant and it is our understanding that the Department is taking action to facilitate a resolution.”
Spokesperson for the Doe Community Association, Margaret Roarty, says their sympathies are with the company but they made their application for the grant in good faith and the grant payment had been delayed by the complexities of the tendering process. She said they applied, through LEADER, for a grant to fix the roads and this was granted on the terms that a €100,000 bridging loan be secured, which it was.
The application was granted, Donegal County Council took over the tendering. However, it was after their appointment process concluded and the works began that the payments stopped after receiving just €60,000. “It is a pure technicality and nothing else. The tendering of this work was completely out of our hands. What would we know about etendering?
“We have no doubt that the Council acted in good faith, but if we had known this, we would have got professional advice,” Margaret stated. The meeting will take place in the old school, Massinass Hall, on Thursday February 13 at 8pm.