Tuesday 23 January 2018

Firm told e-voters can't be sold on

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE company that bought 7,500 defunct e-voting mach-ines will not be allowed to sell them on to members of the public, the Department of the Environment insisted yesterday.

KMK Metals Recycling in Co Offaly had planned to sell up to 100 of the machines for offers over €100 and give the proceeds to charity, but the move has been shot down by officials in the Custom House.

A spokesman said a condition of the contract was that the machines had to be disassembled and couldn't be sold on.

Managing director of KMK, Kurt Kyck, would be written to in the coming days and informed of his contractual obligations, he added.

"We're sending a clarification to say these things cannot find their way back into the market," the spokesman said.

"The contract is explicit -- they have to be disassembled. They cannot be sold. Four are being kept for the purposes of academic research and the rest must be recycled."

Last week the Government announced it had sold the infamous €54m e-voting machines for scrap for just over €70,000, or €9.30 each.

KMK began collecting the first batch of machines from a storage depot in Co Wexford yesterday.

A total of 240 were shipped to the company's headquarters in Tullamore, and the removal of electronic chips which set out how the machines work will begin today.

Each machine has two chips, and they must be returned to the Department of the Environment, after which they will be destroyed.

He added that he was waiting for clarification from the Department of the Environment about whether he could sell the machines.

In a separate development, the department also said it would shortly begin negotiating with the owner of a storage shed in Co Monaghan to break the terms of a long-term lease.

The shed is near Clones, and there are 17 years left to run on the lease, which is costing an annual rent of €21,500.

The department said there was a breakout clause in the terms of the lease, meaning the State will not be locked into the contract until 2029. Details on the clause have not been revealed because of commercial confidentiality.

Mr Duffy was awarded the lucrative contract in 2004 by his aunt, former Cavan/ Monaghan returning officer Josephine Duffy.

Irish Independent

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