Council paid Healy-Rae Plant Hire €679,000


THE COMPANY owned by Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae was among the highest-paid plant hire and haulage contractors to Kerry County Council last year.

Healy-Rae Plant Hire, Main Street, Kilgarvan, earned over €679,000.

The company received the second-highest single sum in the contractors’ list.

A total of €8.67 million was paid and there were over 100 contractors employed by the council in the area of plant and equipment hire and haulage.

The highest amount paid was €701,638 to O’Dwyer Plant Hire T/A Sandmore Ltd, Camp Cross, Tralee.

The third-highest sum was paid to Clancy Plant Hire, Knockanure, Listowel. It received €636,668.

The council’s finance officer John O’Connor said its priority in hiring plant and equipment from contractors is experience and value for money.

Other factors taken into account were the suitability of plant items for the job; compliance with health and safety matters; plant operator skill in the case of machine drivers; and available back-up service.

The annual plant hire list was formed following public advertisements inviting quotations.

Plant hire contractors must also satisfy the council on insurance and safety and have current tax clearance certificates, Mr O’Connor said.

The details were released on foot of a council motion by the Killarney area Independent councillor Brendan Cronin.

Mr Healy-Rae, whose company is consistently among the top earners from the council, said that he employed 12 people, that he had been in business since 1976 and that he complied with all regulations.

He said he believed the request for the release of the payment details was designed to embarrass him politically.

“I have nothing to hide,” Mr Healy-Rae said.

The figure paid included VAT, he pointed out.

Other contractors on the payments list included: Farran Plant Hire Ltd, Farran, Castleisland, which was paid €481,752; Dillon Waste Ltd, The Kerries, Tralee, which was paid €375,384; Maurice Somers, of Headford, Killarney – almost €366,000; John McGillycuddy, Ardnaknockeen, Killorglin, – €365,168; Savage Transport, Tylough, Tralee, which was paid almost €355,000; and Killarney Waste Disposal, Aughacurreen, Killarney, which was paid €319,274.