Clare delegation's travel bill of €12,300 defended

 

A FIVE-STRONG Clare County Council delegation ran up a travel bill totalling €12,366 while meeting venture capitalists and others during a six-day trip to New York City in March.

According to figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request, the figures show that the delegation’s hotel bill at the luxury New York Helmsley in Manhattan came to €5,586. The cost of flights came to €2,612, with accommodation and subsistence, including the Helmsley costs, totalling €9,754.

The group’s itinerary included a meeting with individual venture capitalists – one of them named as Alan Stevenson of OCO Global Solutions – aimed at encouraging new industry into Clare.

The delegation included Clare’s mayor Pat Hayes (FF), county manager Tom Coughlan, director of services Ger Dollard, senior planner Gordon Daly and an administrative staff colleague.

Yesterday, Mr Hayes said: “I am not going to make any apologies for the €12,000 spent. We were there to promote Clare, and we did it in a professional manner.”

The council’s trip included an evening with more than 120 representatives of more than 40 companies discussing economic success in Co Clare.