Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Concern over public funding of Foscadh Housing Association

22 July, 2008

Drogheda Sinn Féin Councillor Mathew Coogan said today that a petition to the High Court to have Foscadh Housing Association dissolved justifies Sinn Féin's concerns around public funding for the body.

Drogheda Borough Council this month approved additional funding of €1,728,727 for Foscadh Housing Association despite protests from Sinn Féin Councillors and concern about the need for extra funding.

Councillor Coogan said, "Sinn Féin Councillors were quite concerned in February when Foscadh Housing Association requested additional funding of €1,728,727. We wanted to know why this extra money was required and called for an enquiry. Despite our protestations the additional funding was approved this month (7th July) without an enquiry. However, a notice in yesterday's Irish Times confirms that a petition has been presented to the High Court for the winding up of the company showing that Sinn Féin's concerns were justified and caution was warranted.

"My colleague, Louth Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan today contacted the clerk at Drogheda Borough Council and was assured that no payments have been made on foot of the 7th July Council decision. However, the Council did confirm that a payment of €359,000 is about to be paid. Deputy Morgan received an assurance from the Council that a significant proportion of this payment will go directly to the contractor who is building houses for the company and cannot be used by the company to pay off arrears.

"My Sinn Féin Colleague Councillor Dom Wilton and I have asked for an enquiry into the handling of public money by Foscadh and into how Drogheda Borough Council held that company to account in respect of these public moneys. We reiterate that call today and we are demanding that the money approved for the company goes directly to the contractors to build much needed social housing and not to the company to pay off its debts." ENDS

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