Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions

Decisions on Public Petitions Received

4:00 pm

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal North East, Sinn Fein)
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The committee is now sitting in its capacity as a joint sub-committee on petitions. We have had a chance to deliberate on petition No. 17/14, which was deferred from last week, regarding the incorrect allocations of public funds allocated for flood prevention in a specified area, from Mr. Eugene Mitchell. The petitioner's house flooded in 2009 and he is claiming that Galway County Council received a grant of €15,000 for their minor works scheme to carry out repair work to a stream beside his house. He claims the council did not spend the funds in the area for which they were intended. He has also raised this issue with the Public Accounts Committee, PAC, which had obtained a copy of the hydraulic assessment report from Galway County Council and had forwarded this to the petitioner. I can confirm for members that the Ombudsman has investigated this issue with the council and prepared a report, which was sent to the petitioner. However, the petitioner disagrees with the information provided by the council and has requested that this be investigated further by the Ombudsman. At present, his complaint is waiting to be assigned to an investigating officer with the Office of the Ombudsman. Accordingly, it is agreed that the petition be deemed inadmissable as the Ombudsman is investigating the issue. We have also agreed to forward a copy of the hydrologist's report, Galway County Council's response, and the OPW response to the PAC to the petitioner. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Sitting suspended at 4.26 p.m. and resumed at 4.27 p.m.