Council pays out €2m a year in compo

Over €2m a year is being paid out each year as the result of compensation claims against local authorities in Kerry.

In less than two years, the council had paid out €4.268m to over 500 individuals.

Much of the pay-out centres on Tralee, and a good number of the claimants are “repeat litigants,” the monthly council meeting was told yesterday.

The motion by Cllr Brendan Cronin sought the numbers of individual insurance compensation claims made against the county council and the three former town councils.

Between January 2013 and November 2014, there were 525 written claims against the councils. Over €2.7m was paid out by the county council, which governed all but three Kerry towns. However, almost €1m was paid out in claims against Tralee Town Council by 46 individuals.

This compared with 25 claims in Killarney, where the pay-out by the council amounted to just over €286,000.

The amount paid in Listowel for 10 claims over the period January 2013 to November 2014 was €246,000.

Most of the claims were public liability, such as trips and falls.

Finance officer Angela McAllen said the claims could have been lodged in previous years because it took some time before they were finalised.

The council had a specific management risk unit and each claim was thoroughly vetted. The claims were ultimately paid by the council’s insurance company.

Mr Cronin, a Killarney area councillor, asked why there was such a difference between Tralee and Killarney.

Tralee councillor Jim Finucane (FG) highlighted the state of footpaths in Tralee and said repair methods were not standardised.

Mayor of Kerry John Brassil said he had not realised the council was paying out so much each year and he is now seeking information on other counties and what they pay.

It is understood the €4.2m euro includes some legal and medical fees.

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