Hogan in rift with council over halting site funding

A RIFT has emerged between Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Kilkenny County Council over the lack of funding for the notorious St Catherine’s halting site, with the two parties offering contradictory versions of events.

A RIFT has emerged between Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Kilkenny County Council over the lack of funding for the notorious St Catherine’s halting site, with the two parties offering contradictory versions of events.

Earlier this month, the council’s director of services John McCormack said it appeared the cash was ‘not available’ to improve the site, where conditions are very poor. The local authorities have been advancing a proposal to develop a Group Housing Scheme.

“Unfortunately, while it was hoped that a capital allocation would be received in 2013 to commence the construction on a phased basis, it now appears that such funding is not available in the current year due to constraints on the funding that is available under the TravellerProgramme nationally,” wrote Mr McCormack.

However, Minister Hogan has contradicted this, saying that the plans submitted were not adequate.

“The plans submitted by Kilkenny Co Council to the Department were not satisfactory for the proposed project. Until this stage is completed, I as Minister cannot approve any allocation of funding.

“I am fully aware of the conditions at the halting site and I urge Kilkenny County Council to prioritise this matter and complete the plans as quickly as possible so that I can progress the matter”.