Navy to build more accommodation in Cork Harbour to prevent off-duty sailors from sleeping on ships

Navy to build more accommodation in Cork Harbour to prevent off-duty sailors from sleeping on ships
Work will begin early next year developing new accommodation for 85 naval staff. On occasions in recent months, close to 70 naval personnel have had to sleep on ships when they are off duty. Pic; Larry Cummins

ACCOMMODATION for 85 people will be developed at the Naval base in Haulbowline next year to tackle the number of personnel forced to sleep on naval ships.

On occasions in recent months, close to 70 naval personnel have had to sleep on ships when they are off duty.

There are already more than 100 accommodation spaces in the naval base but they are regularly full.

According to sources in the Navy, many cannot afford either a mortgage or rent for a home. Many are long distances from home but cannot meet the rents in areas including Carrigaline and Douglas, which are close to the Haulbowline naval base.

Now, the Department of Defence has advertised for tenders for the development of Block 8 on the base to be developed into accommodation for 85 male and female Naval personnel.

Two Naval inflatables taking part in exercises in Cork harbour near their base in Haulbowline. Picture Dan Linehan
Two Naval inflatables taking part in exercises in Cork harbour near their base in Haulbowline. Picture Dan Linehan

The briefing document for the project said: “It is intended to tender the construction to Block 8 as soon as is possible with a view to construction work commencing on-site as early as possible in 2020.” Work will also be carried out on Block 9 on the base for the provision of office and storage accommodation.

Both four-storey blocks were built in 1822 and are protected structures.

President of PDFORRA, Mark Keane, welcomed the publication of the tender process and said that the provision of accommodation for personnel would be a positive step for the recruitment and retention of naval personnel.

The Department of Defence has also published intentions to develop accommodation at Collins Barracks for 40 personnel.

The briefing document outlined: “The Collins Barracks 'new build' project is planned to proceed in 2021/2022, depending on funding availability and competing priorities.” 

The document added: “At both locations, sustainability is to be prioritised, particularly with respect to energy usage and carbon reduction.”

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