WHILE Cllr Alan Coleman was very visible all weekend – on the ground and on social media – during Bandon’s flooding crisis, he found himself having to defend his actions after an RTE Primetime special on Monday night featured the former Fianna Fail (FF) member.
Cllr Coleman, who resigned his membership of the party last June, citing lack of party support, was referenced by the investigative report, following his vote on the Bandon Local Area Development plan in 2011.
Cllr Coleman owned land in Garrylucas at the time, and the programme called into question his decision not to declare his interest at a meeting which covered development land.
It also noted that he had failed to include a house in Charleville on his 2014 Declaration of Interests for the Council, which requires councillors to set out all the property they own, on an annual basis. In the same declaration, he also described the Garrylucas land as ‘farming’ land.
In a statement to The Southern Star this week, Cllr Coleman said he had not declared the Charleville property ‘because I mistakenly thought that the declarations were for all lands and commercial property. This was a clear error on my behalf.’
With regard to land in Garrylucas which he had purchased with two others in 2006, he said: ‘In each of my annual declarations from 2006 up to January 2015, I declared it as development land. In my Jan 2015 declaration I put it as farming land.’
Cllr Coleman told The Southern Star that the development plan had not changed the status of this land at any stage. It was originally bought as residentially-zoned land, at full market value, he said.