Prefabs and IT equipment left to rot

Prefabs and IT equipment left to rot

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Some of the electronic equipment left to rot at the former construction site office

Tens of thousands of euro worth of prefabs and electronic equipment lie rotting at a former roads construction site office 12 years after the project was completed.

The facility, located adjacent to the M18 motorway at Ballygirreen Co Clare, was left abandoned soon after construction of the N18 Newmarket on Fergus Bypass was completed in 2002.

The land on which the offices are located has since been sold back to the landowner from whom it was originally purchased for the project.

Around 5.5 acres of an original 32 acre land acquisition secured for the project have since been sold back to the original landowner.

However, three lines of prefab buildings, used as offices for project engineers and other staff, along with office furniture and equipment, a CCTV system remain on site.

Files, magazines and phonebooks dating back to 2002 along with a cabinet full of keys also litter the main office.

Clare County Council has said: “Clare County Council doesn’t own this site anymore and its new owner is now responsible for all aspects of it.”

A spokesman also said that the prefabs were “provided originally by the road scheme contractor (Wills Bros Ltd) to facilitate the contract. There was no cost to Clare County Council.”

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The prefabs that have been left to rot at Dromoland – © Pat Flynn 2014

Clare County County has also said that the computer, printer, photocopier and other equipment were also provided by contractor.

A spokesman for Wills Bros Ltd would only say: “We do not own this site nor anything on it.”

The company has not replied to questions about whether they previously purchased, rented or leased the prefabs and the equipment at the facility.

One Clare Councillor has expressed concern at the disgraceful waste of taxpayer’s money and believes it resulted from the wanton waste exhibited during the boom years.

Cllr Johnny Flynn said: “It is sad to see the state of these pre-fab buildings and computer equipment which undoubtably were directly or indirectly funded by the State.”

“I imagine these would have been gratefully maintained and used by some Schools and Community groups in Clare over the last decade and a half rather than being left dis-used and discarded,” he said.

“This well built and welcome section of Motorway was completed in 2002  in the middle of what is now seen as a wasteful and damaging ‘Celtic Tiger’ period. It was the clear lack of prudent regulation of how tax-payers money was spent during that period that resulted in such waste,” Cllr Flynn added. 

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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