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Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 16:55:55 +0000 (GMT)
From: "William Finnerty" <>
Subject: Sale of Lisnamult Site (Roscommon Town)
To: "Gerald Finnerty & Marjorie Dolan (New Inn, County Galway.)" <>
CC: "Gerard J Madden (Senior Psychiatric Social Worker)" <>
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Dear Margie,
As I believe you will probably have realised by now, I am very worried by the way Greg Nolan (Solicitor) appears to be trying to act as though I do not exist as far as the sale of the land in Lisnamult goes.
Hardly surprisingly, I am convinced he is up to no good - certainly regarding my particular interests.
As the arrangements I believe we agreed (in 2004) for the money from the land at Lisnamult to be equally divided between the three of us, I am naturally anxious that we do all we reasonably can to get the best price for the land.
All things considered, I now believe we should follow the approach set out in Section 247 of the PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000 (which can be seen at ); and, if we do this, I believe we should be able to go a long way towards protecting our interests responsibly, and in an entirely reasonable way.
I am happy to finish the remaining work that needs to be done regarding "the entering into consultations with the planning authority" mentioned in Part 1 (of Section 247), which I put on hold on June 3rd 2005 in my e-mail to Breeda Burke at Roscommon County Council.
If I cannot attend the consultation meeting myself (because of the arrest warrant business), there is a possibility that Gerry Madden might be able to attend on my behalf.  (This is something I have already mentioned to him, and he is considering it.)
I have also pointed out to Gerry Madden that the original plan in 2004 (as I recall it) was for Gerald to sign over the land at Lisnamult to me completely, and that I would do everything else from that point onwards - so that Gerald himself did not have to get directly involved in the sale at all.  However, when I discussed that plan with the Tax Inspector in Athlone, it became clear that I would become liable for a large sum of money (within six months or so, I can't remember exactly how long): regardless of whether I was able to sell the land or not (for a reasonable price); and, that if I could not pay the Inland Revenue, they could force me to sell the land (or even take it off me).  I was worried about being boxed into a corner by people acting corruptly behind the scenes - as they tend to do in the Republic of Ireland (and elsewhere) where valuable sites such as Lisnamult are concerned.
Now that I have been living in Northern Ireland for well over a year, "the tax problem threat" mentioned in the paragraph above no longer exists as far as I know: i.e. I can't be corruptly boxed in now. Consequently, if Gerald (and yourself) wish to go back to the original plan, then I am willing to go along with it. All Gerald would have to do then is to instruct Mr Nolan to sign the land at Lisnamult over to me - and once that is done I would then proceed with the Section 247 approach referred to above. 
At a time (some months ago) when I was not anticipating any problems from Mr Nolan, I booked an Internet web site especially for the purpose of making as many people as possible aware of the fact that the 30 acre site at Lisnamult is soon to be sold.  The web site address is and there is a just a temporary page there at present - which simply says there is 30 acres of land coming up for sale at Lisnamult, and that further information will follow.
My intention would be to inform as many people as possible - via the site - that there would be a "Public Auction" on such-and-such a date in Roscommon Town (held by local auctioneer Pat Hughes who you both seem to get on well with); and, that you and Gerald - and possibly myself, if the arrest warrant business could be sorted out in time, would all attend, so that we could keep an eye on things.  
One of my big fears is that, if we are not VERY careful, the 30 acres at Lisnamult will fall into the hands of a local cartel in Roscommon for half-nothing.  My main instrument, for preventing such cartel-type action to succeed, is the web site.
It's all very well for Pat Hughes to be saying he will advertise the site on the Internet - but how do we know which way he will treat the people who contact him?  Dozens of people could contact him, and he could gently talk them out of it, fail to phone them back, and so on - and none of us would know a thing about it.  
The way I see it there is a very easy three million Euros (or so) to be made by a local cartel - provided that they can get hold of the 30 acre site in circumstances whereby we have failed to go through the "Section 247" procedure referred to above.  All a local cartel (or a non-local cartel for that matter) have to do then is get outline planning permission for the site - and the price they can then get for the land could easily jump from 1.5 million Euros to 4.5 million (say) - and all in the space of a few weeks, or months maybe at most. As far as I know, there is not much work involved in getting "outline" planning permission for any such site, and consequently the costs are low (say a few thousand Euros at most perhaps).
As I believe I have said to you several times before, the idea of the Lisnamult land being sold by "private treaty" - without a public auction of any kind first taking place, seems to me to be really asking for trouble of the "cartel" kind - especially if the Section 247 procedure has not been gone through by us first.  That way, you are basically leaving it to Pat Hughes to do what he likes really - in circumstances where none of us live in Roscommon Town or have any reliable or close contacts there, and consequently there is nobody to keep an eye out for our interests.
Each and every one of the local landowners I sought advice from regarding the sale of Lisnamult advised me, straight away, to apply for outline planning permission (which would involve the "Section 247" procedure in the case of Lisnamult): BEFORE, please note, putting the land up for sale.
The only people who did not advise me to seek outline planning permission are the auctioneers and solicitors.
It's my belief the auctioneers and solicitors are putting their own interests first, which is all well and good, provided we are all fully aware of that.
However, and as I see things, we have a right and a duty to look after our interests too, and to do so to the best of our abilities.
Keeping in mind that my whole life's savings are virtually all gone now, as a result of the 8 years or so I have spent challenging all the local corruption which has, among other things, resulted in I being driven out of my home and my country (possibly for good), I just hope that you and Gerald are not going to allow yourselves to be duped and hoodwinked in any major way by Mr Nolan, and possibly Mr Hughes as well, regarding the sale of Lisnamult.
As you know, I have never met Mr Hughes and consequently I do not know him at all.  However, I do know that neither he nor Mr Nolan seems to have done anything whatsoever to make you both aware of the protection offered by the "Section 247" procedure; and, their failure to make you aware of this very important information worries me a lot at the present time.
I am copying this e-mail to Gerry Madden in the hope that you might be able to discuss the Lisnamult issues with him to some extent when you meet on Wednesday.   
Best wishes,
PS:  I hope it will be possible for Gerald to close the shop for an hour or two on Wednesday, so that all three of you will be able to discuss things together.

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