NAMA land for schools

A RATHDOWNEY councillor believes NAMA owned land, beside sporting clubs and schools that was purchased during the boom, could be sold back to clubs and schools at a reasonable price.

A RATHDOWNEY councillor believes NAMA owned land, beside sporting clubs and schools that was purchased during the boom, could be sold back to clubs and schools at a reasonable price.

Speaking at last Monday’s meeting of Laois County Council, Cllr John King said there was a parcel of land between the GAA club and soccer club in Rathdowney which would be of use to both clubs.

“The council could become an agent on behalf of sports clubs, community groups and schools. It was daft the prices that was paid for this land during the boom, but maybe they could buy it back at a reasonable price.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr King said that although he was a member of the GAA club, he had tabled the motion on his own initiative.

“It’s my own view of how things should be. I am a member of the local GAA club, but I took the initiative to put down this motion, which I feel got good support from my colleagues.

“The GAA have plans to extend but they wouldn’t have the funds. I think this is something that the council would be able to facilitate and it could even go nationwide.”

Cathaoirleach, John Bonham said the council could write to NAMA, but they could not respond.

Supporting the motion, Cllr James Deegan said there was a similar situation in Stradbally, where two schools had amalgamated.

“There are 280 students on a cramped site, but for the goodwill of neighbours who gave parts of the gardens and bits of lands the building of the school wouldn’t have been possible,” he said

Cllr Deegan said there was 30 acres, which had been owned by a developer from Tipperary, but was now in the hands of NAMA that the school could use.

“They’re interested in selling property, but they don’t do subdivision. I would ask that subdivision be facilitated especially by local community groups, clubs and schools,” he said.