The Chairman of Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum told the Leitrim Observer this week they “reject totally allegations of a bribe” regarding the €20,000 investment from gas company Tamboran Resources.
Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum (MEF) announced on their website on April 30 they were accepting a €20,000 donation from Tamboran Resources, the company who are expecting to frack for gas in North Leitrim, to help with planning application and feasibility study for a hotel in the town.
Despite the calls from local TD Michael Colreavy and locals to “give back the money” the company are standing over their decision to take the money to “promote enterprise and employment” in the area. The decision has caused a huge stir in the Manorhamilton and North Leitrim community with many publicly voicing their disappointment in the move.
Chairman of the Enterprise Forum clarified to the Leitrim Observer this week that the perception that decision was made by only a few members of the forum is untrue and “every director voted with a unanimous decision.” The Chairman speaking on behalf of the forum said they wrote to every politician in Leitrim and Fermanagh seeking cross border funding, as well as 25 companies and Failte Ireland but they did not get one penny. The forum have planning permission for self catering accommodation and are now seeking planning for a hotel.
In statement released last week, the group said, “Our board was elected to represent the interests of the members of the business community in Manorhamilton and the North Leitrim area. The taxpayer does not fund us, we have received grants towards various projects in the past but these grants are now impossible to get. The lack of a ‘small’ hotel in Manorhamilton means that every wedding and normal event associated with a hotel must go out of the area every week. A small hotel in the town will encourage the locals to keep their life events in the town and create more badly needed jobs in Manorhamilton.
“Our board decided to tackle Tamboran for money to allow us to proceed with our planning application and feasibility study for a hotel in the area. They agreed to give us €20k towards this and we as an entity were extremely careful to accept the monies without any strings or promises. In fact we can do what we wish with this money provided that it promotes business and enterprise in the region.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.