A NUMBER of vital community facilities at the Bessborough campus in Blackrock are set to close within the next three months as the nuns prepare to sell the land, making up to 100 staff redundant.
The 40-acre estate in Cork city accommodates community projects, which deliver a range of services to vulnerable families and children, including education programmes and employment supports.
A statement from the staff, send to The Opinion Line on 96FM, said the owners, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, have been absent from the operation for 10 years.
The State has pumped in €30m to services on the campus over the past 20 years.
Staff said the centre should be allowed continue to operate and the money made from the sale of the land should be spent on developing the services.
The staff said: “The centre is viable, provides necessary and good services and is a large employer in the Blackrock area.
“The nuns have a financial duty and moral obligation to leave the monies gained from the sale of the lands for the development of the family services and provide for a future legacy very different from the one they have left behind.”
Staff said they were shocked to hear they were losing their jobs.
“At the heart of the work of the Bessborough Centre over the last 20 years has been the provision of social inclusion supports for vulnerable families.
“In recent years, the centre has become renowned for its specialist and comprehensive work in supporting families and keeping them together,” said the statement, which was released to 96FM radio.
In responses, the nuns said after much “consideration and soul searching” that they have decided to cease their involvement with the centre.
“The Sisters will commence the process of immediately seeking a new service provider that will have the capacity to continue the work at a different location,” they said.
An on-site crèche is expected to remain open after the sale.