A Donegal community group has had the threat of legal action dropped after the Government promised to pay money owed to the contractor who carried out works.
The Doe Community Association in Creeslough was facing legal action in the High Court for non-payment for works.
The works in question were the Village enhancement of Creeslough village and a grant was sanctioned by the Miinister for environment to pay for the work.
The Doe Community Association were simply the conduit by which the money was to be paid to the Contractor and DLDC were the lead partners for the project.
It transpired in August 2012 that the Department of Environment came to the conclusion that the works should not be funded by the department as it was outside their remit, this after the same department had sanctioned the grant and work was almost completed.
This left the Community group in a position where the contractor had to chase them up for the remainder of the payment because the department reneged on their previous sanction.
Cllr Seamus O Domhnaill said the matter, which was first raised on Donegal Daily, has now been resolved.
“To say that the community group felt distressed and angry is an understatement yet Minister Phil Hogan would not even agree to meet with the group or indeed engage with them.
“The outstancding amount was in excess of €200 K and it appeared that this Government were happy to burden this amount onto a voluntary community group in Creeslough.
Cllr. O’Domhnaill commented that “I had numerous meetings with the community group, DLDC who were partners as well as Donegal County Council who also played a role in the Village Enhancement process but it was virtually impossible to make progress when the Department refused to engage with the interested parties.
“A last gasp Emergency meeting which I organised in mid December allowed the Group to plead and outline their difficulties once more to the County Manager as well as to Caoimhín Mac Aoidh of DLDC. “Further negotiations were the had between Donegal County Council and the Department and a resolution was finally arrived at yesterday afternoon.”
The outstanding monies will now be paid out by the Department and it is hoped that the legal proceedings being brought by the contractor will be dropped as he will finally be paid.
Cllr O Domhnaill said the Doe Community association are left distressed and extremely frustrated by this whole ordeal and the good work which was carried out through out this project have totally been overshadowed with the red tape and arrogance of the Department of the Environment.
O’Domhnaill concluded by stating “I have been involved with this Community Association from the very first time the idea of Village enhancement was thought of for the Village, despite all of the difficulties I am pleased to have been able to actively work with the Group to solve this ridiculous situation that could have been solved by senior Government members at a much earlier stage.
“I cannot commend and praise the Community Association enough in regards to their determination and hard work and I am personally delighted that this matter has been resolved. Thanks must also be paid to Seamus Neely & Mícheal O’Heanaigh of Donegal County Council who played an active role in the resolution as well as Caoimhin Mac Aoidh of DLDC.”