THE possibility of Kerry County Council being left responsible for the operation of Ballybunion Health and Leisure was signalled as far back 2005, when independent councillor Brendan Cronin tried to discourage the council from voting to guarantee the facility.
Speaking at a council meeting in October 2005, Cllr Cronin voiced grave concerns about the local authority guaranteeing any private venture and used the Jeanie Johnston famine ship project as an example of how costs could escalate. At the meeting, the Killarney councillor said that his colleagues must be either 'senile or stupid' not to heed the warnings, and said that he was not wiling to 'put further mortgages on Kerry rate payers.'
With the management company of the centre now attempting to put together a business plan to secure its future, Cllr Cronin said this week that while he wished board of Bevely Ltd every success, it is their responsibility to 'sort it out'
"At the time I raised concerns that I felt were important and unfortunately we're now in a tricky situation, so I hope the council or the ratepayer doesn't end up with a burden here," he said.