A county councillor has called for the Tipperary Hostel Ltd development company to be disbanded and for the county council to take over and finish the transformation of Tipperary’s old workhouse building into a tourist hostel.
The call has been issued by Cllr Mary Hanna Hourigan, who is involved in the Hostel Action Committee, which is campaigning for the hostel project to be restarted and completed.
Former workers on the project estimate another year and a half of work is required to finish the self-catering tourist accommodation. The building has lain idle since the hostel project closed in May 2010 after government funding body, Pobal, suspended its funding and demanded the return of funds incorrectly claimed.
Cllr Hourigan said it was time for the remaining board members of Tipperary Hostel Ltd, the development company that oversaw the restoration of the workhouse, to wind up the company and for the county council to take over and engage somebody to finish the work.
The Fine Gael councillor said the workhouse building is owned by Tipperary Town Council, which has leased the building to Tipperary Hostel Ltd.
“A huge amount of money has been spent on this project. It just can’t be left idle,” she told The Nationalist.
In response, Michael Maguire, treasurer of Tipperary Hostel Ltd Board of Management, said the Board has been advised to wait until the Garda investigation is concluded before taking any action.
He said he was very upset and annoyed at the way he was portrayed in the Prime Time report and he was confident the Garda investigation will vindicate him and the remaining Board of Management members.
During the report, Mr Maguire,a former Fianna Fail councillor, was questioned about outside projects the Tipperary Hostel JIS workers carried out on Lattin/Cullen GAA Club, Tipp Mid-West Radio and the Excel Centre in Tipperary, which he was closely associated with. Mr Maguire insisted he made no representations to get these projects carried out.