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Sub-contractor removes stone from HSE site in lieu of payment

Achill sub-contractor says he owns material he removed from HSE site over Easter

Anton McNulty

A sub-contractor claims he removed gravel and stone from the site of a proposed new care centre in Achill because he is owed over €200,000.
On Good Friday, the HSE, St Colman’s Day Care Centre Limited and Comharcummann Forbatha Acla Teoranta obtained an urgent interim injunction against Eugene Doran of Dooniver Plant Hire ordering him to cease the removal of materials from the site in Bunnacurry on Achill Island.
The previous day, Mr Doran and a number of personnel entered the site and started removing gravel and stone which he had laid as part of the groundworks for the development. Work on the €5 million St Colman’s Care Centre development stopped in May 2011 after the main contractor, Cordil Construction went into receivership.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Eugene Doran said he is owed ‘in excess of €200,000’ for the materials supplied to the site. He believes that the material belongs to him, as he has a ‘retention of title’ clause in his contract, which states he is the owner until he is paid.
A new contract for the resumption of the project has recently been put out to tender by the HSE, and Mr Doran says the tender includes the use of the material he has supplied. He explained that if the building is built over the groundworks he has installed, he will never receive payment. He believes he had no option but to retrieve what he feels is his.
“Cordil went into receivership in May, and we have been left unpaid for the materials and our services,” he said. He explained that his company wrote to the HSE, which responded by saying that it has no contractual agreement with Doran’s company an that he has no right to the material.
“When the new contract went out to tender we figured that the work we completed would be included, but we understand they intend to build on top of the stone we supplied and have not been paid for,” Mr Doran said, adding: “We wrote to St Colman’s asking was that their intention was, and they have not replied.”
Mr Doran says he is not trying to sabotage the St Colman’s project, which he says he wants to see built. However, he feels that he has not been treated fairly. He says he wanted a peaceful solution to the situation but feels the HSE is preventing that from happening.
“There is a lot of messing going on and we are frustrated that this has not been settled in a peaceful way. I feel I have done nothing wrong by going in there. That is my material, I have bought and paid for it and I have not been paid.
“We have written to the HSE on four or five occasions and we have got the same letter back on each occasion. If we were paid the money we were owed this would not have happened … they want to bulldoze their way through and leave us at a loss,” he said.
When contacted by The Mayo News the HSE released a statement stating that significant quantities of stone and in-fill material were removed from the site. The statement also said that there was damage to the ground/stone formation level at the work site, and that an injunction had been issued. They did not comment on Mr Doran’s claims that the material belongs to him under the terms of his contract.
The matter was due before the High Court yesterday (Monday) for the injunction to be made permanent, but the matter was adjourned to a later date.
Mr Doran said he has received a lot of support from people on Achill following his action, and local councillor Micheál McNamara told The Mayo News that the information he has received suggests Mr Doran is entitled to be paid for his services. He called on the HSE and other bodies to enter into discussions with Mr Doran to find a solution to the impasse.

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