Mayor of Roscommon County Council listed in Stubbs over debt of €30 000
A COUNTY mayor is the latest politician to find himself in 'Stubbs Gazette' after a €30,000 debt was registered against him.
Tom Crosby, mayor of Roscommon County Council, was named after his failure to pay €30,000 arising from a civil case.
The independent councillor is now appealing an attachment order to his council income for the outstanding debt.
Mr Crosby described such an attachment order against a politician as "unprecedented in Irish law" and said he was appealing the decision to the High Court.
The debt arises from a civil case taken against Mr Crosby and two others. It relates to a dispute involving neighbours to building works on a housing development, Tarmon Harbour Marina Development, in which Mr Crosby was involved.
A Circuit Court judgment in November 2010 directed that Mr Crosby pay Eamon Flanagan and Maresa Prenderville, of Lock Road, Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon, over €8,000, plus legal costs of almost €25,000.
Although the case was taken against Mr Crosby and others, only Mr Crosby was pursued for costs, of €31,774.
Describing the legal costs as "exorbitant", Mr Crosby said he had appealed them to the Taxing Master, the County Registrar for Roscommon.
However, the costs were only reduced by €4,285. He then appealed that decision to the Circuit Court but lost.
Mr Crosby said he had since approached his bank for a loan to pay the debt but was turned down.
He said he had also offered to pay the debt by monthly instalments but that this was refused.
The mayor said he had been left with a number of unsold properties at the development and a substantial amount of debt as a result of the housing crash.
"Fortunately, the bank is working with me on this issue and I am continuing to pay the interest owed," he said.
"Like anybody involved in the property business, I have my troubles but I'm dealing with it as best I can."
This is not the first time that Mr Crosby has attracted media attention.
He began his career as a Fianna Fail councillor. However, he received a suspended sentence in 1998 for punching the former justice minister Sean Doherty, who was a member of the same party.
Mr Crosby became an independent councillor shortly afterwards.
The incident occurred in January 1998, when Mr Crosby burst into a private meeting at a house in Tarmonbarry.
Mr Crosby, who is also a publican in the village, struck his colleague on the back with his elbow before punching him in the back of the head.
Mr Doherty suffered a slight abrasion.