Tensions over running of Kilminchy estate

Long simmering tensions over the management of one of Portlaoise’s newest and biggest estates are set to get an airing this week.

Long simmering tensions over the management of one of Portlaoise’s newest and biggest estates are set to get an airing this week.

The Kilminchy Management Company AGM takes place at 9am next Thursday morning (August 8) in the Killeshin Hotel. The company is set up on a non-profit basis and is responsible for running the estate. Each homeowner in the 680 house estate pays a subscription to the company for grass cutting and other services.

However, tensions spilled over last year and at other company AGMs over the management of the estate. In the past month a group of residents and the management company have written to all homes about the meeting. Both sides have asked residents for their proxy votes for voting reasons.

The residents say they want more transparency in how the management company operates and how the AGM is run. They have concerns over directorship, voting rights, and claim that 80 questions have not been answered by the management company. They are also unhappy over what they claim has been a lack of consultation on issues such as the new playground.

John Cowhig, Stephen Dolly and Sean Roddy signed the letter distributed to all houses. They say they have gathered the backing of residents.

“It is not their company, it is the members’ company,” said Mr Cowhig.

Dermot Lee, Declan Culliton and Jim McDonald are the three directors of the management company. In a letter to residents Mr Lee said that due to the “disturbance and disruptions” in previous years, on the agenda for this week’s AGM discussion will be restricted to the agenda. Other matters can be recorded on issues sheets and will be attended to later.

Speaking to the Leinster Express Mr Lee said that the meeting was fixed for 9am because of difficulties at previous meetings. He said that, as a voluntary director he was not willing to allow this year’s AGM to eat into his family time.

He said the management company had the support of many people in Kilminchy. Referring to demands for transparency he said: “They want to run the car from the back seat”.

Mr Lee said that since he had become a director with Mr Culliton a debt owed by the company had been cleared. He said he has attended a company law seminar and he was satisfied that the company was being run legally.

He said anybody with concerns could invite the Office of Corporate Enforcement to investigate. He also said he would make the membership of the company public once cleared to do so by the Data Commissioner’s Office.

He said many of the 80 questions had been asked by people who had not paid the membership fees.