Kilkenny County Council’s to buy the former St Patrick’s complex on the outskirts of our local city.
The 17-acre Kells Road site was used up to four years ago to provide residential, day care and respite to people living with intellectual disabilities.
There’s been some conversation about what it’s next use would be and on Friday councillors were called to a special meeting to decide whether or not to borrow funds to buy it.
The school and SOS offices that share the entry lane are not affected.
The local authority’s plan is to use the site for temporary accommodation for refugees, mainly those from Ukraine.
Sixteen councillors voted for the acquisition, including Cllr Maria Dollard who’s told KCLR News; “The council will own the site from day one, that’s what Fiona Deegan told us, day one they will own the site and I presume that once they own the site they’ll start look at uses for the other buildings, like the huge big main building that’s up there, I don’t know what they might plan for that but certainly there will be discussions”.
She adds; “There’s about five or six bungalows up at the top of that site, in at the back, and what they’ll be able to do with those bungalows is provide accommodation and shared cooking facilities so that the people living in temporary protection, special name for the support that we’re giving to Ukrainians fleeing the war, that they will be able to have shared cooking facilities”.
And Cllr Dollard believes there’s too much misinformation doing the rounds, saying “I’ve read things like, a lot of things, comments like ‘we can’t house our own’, ‘people on the street’, ‘our own people haven’t houses and they’re giving them free everything’, it’s very much centered around a racist way of thinking about the whole issue”.
Two of the councillors, Eamon Aylward and David Fitzgerald, weren’t present for Friday’s vote while the six who voted against the move are Martin Brett, Eugene McGuinness, Joe Malone, Mat Doran and Mick Delaney.
Also Andrew McGuinness who summed up his main concern on KCLR this morning;