Derry City and Strabane District Council senior solicitor Philip Kingston has said the same ruling on recouping public money could apply to both Derry City Football team and the Greyhound track during the redevelopment of the Brandywell.
Mr Kingston made the comment at this evening’s meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council, after it was revealed earlier in the week that the Brandywell Greyhound Racing Company could face an annual bill of £45,000 for rent as part of the stadium’s redevelopment.
Mr Kingston explained that both Derry City Football team and Brandywell Greyhound Racing Company could potentially be charged a ‘licence’ fee by the council in order to get back any monies invested in the stadium. In essence it would more than likely mean charging rent.
Mr Kingston was addressing the monthly meeting of the council’s Health and Community Committee which was also attended by a delegation from the Brandywell’s Greyhound Racing Company.
The solicitor told the council that the ruling was part of EU legisalation which states that when funding above a certain level is put into a project which then has the potential for economic advantage, this must be curtailed or recouped by the council over a certain period of time.
Mr Kingston said that the council had consulted a specialist lawyer at Cyrils’ Court at Lincoln’s Inn in London who had confirmed “the implications would apply”.
Councillors Martin O’Reilly (SDLP) and Independent councillor Gary Donnelly received a round of applause from the public gallery when they asked for an extension so that further possibilities could be explored.
“We have to remember that the doggie men have been there since 1932,” said Gary Donnelly.