COUNCIL

Council chief slams John Teeling's newspaper comments

Joan Martin refuted the claims during Tuesday's special full council meeting

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

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barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Louth County Council  welcome Dundalk's 'key growth' status

Louth County Council Chief Executive Joan Martin

Joan Martin has rubbished suggestions made by Great Northern Distillery founder John Teeling that Louth County Council directed him to select the proposed site at Kilcurry.

In an interview with The Irish Times late last month, Teeling said that the local authority “thought it was a good place to go”, despite the site being located on agricultural land, not land zoned for industry.

“We were directed there by Louth County Council,” he told the newspaper. However, speaking at this week’s special council meeting to discuss the matter, Martin strenuously denied that was the case.

“I absolutely refute what he said in his article,” the Louth County Council Chief Executive said. “We would never tell people to buy a site. I absolutely refute the suggestion in the article, which I read myself. At the earliest opportunity, we told them that it would require a material contravention.

“We have e-mails passed between planners and the council as part of pre-planning. It is a normal part of pre-planning that people come in and you say ‘Yeah, maybe’ or ‘No, it won’t work.’”

A council official added, “That is way out of our remit. The executive were very disappointed with that article.”

At Tuesday's special meeting, the material contravention of the County Development was unanimoulsy voted down by councillors, meaning Teeling could not proceed with plans to build a 111 acre site containing 13 whiskey maturation warehouses at Kilcurry. You can read more about the meeting here