Desmond Tutu, Clonmel and South Tipperary
A local councillor has asked for the €145 million in Capital Assets and the €30 million + cash in hand assets of Clonmel Borough Corporation/Council that were transferred to the control of Nenagh in 2014, be used as collateral to purchase derelict, unused sites in Clonmel such as the Clonmel Arms Hotel, to expedite re-development of same in the interests of Clonmel and the broader community.
Cllr Niall Dennehy said that Public Private Partnerships (PPS) are not an unknown phenomenon.
“Archbishop Desmond Tutu, referencing European colonialism when foreign lands were invaded and plundered said ‘When the missionaries came, we had the land and they had the Bible. We were told to close our eyes and pray. When we opened our eyes, we had the Bible and they had the land.’
“The missionaries from Nenagh in 2013-2014 during the illegal hostile takeover of Clonmel and South Tipp handed us their Biblical philosophy of ‘one county’ one council, one community and like Desmond Tutu in South Africa, when we opened our eyes, they had our land and our assets,” said Cllr Dennehy.
“It is an utter disgrace that the resources alluded to in the motion are not available first hand to us to deliver on the vacant sites referenced.
“A Local Authority has, primarily a public service ethos, but Public Private Partnerships (PPS) are common-place and should be utilised as suggested, embracing a pro-active culture of common sense commercial engagement in the interest of the common good.
“Since the economic downturn of the late noughties, a commercial retail park in this area, which cost circa €35 million to construct was sold for €1.5 million at auction.
Similarly a major shopping mall was sold at auction for nothing like it’s original value. All of this under the nose of a local authority headquartered in Nenagh, with no apparent appetite to promote Clonmel. My Motion speaks for itself,” said Cllr Dennehy.
In response to Cllr Dennehy’s motion, the Council said there are currently a number of Department Funding Schemes available for vacant properties and derelict sites such as Croi Conaithe Vacant Properties Refurbishment Grant, Top Up Grant for Derelict Properties and Repair and Lease Scheme. Clonmel Borough District is working very closely with the Environment Section and the Vacant Homes Officer in the Housing Section to ensure property owners, the public and business have maximum take up on all of these available grants.