OPW under fire as garda house unused for 20 years

OPW under fire as garda house unused for 20 years
Senator Colm Burke: Calling for action. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE Office of Public Works has been called on to allow Cork County Council to take control of the former garda house in Blarney. It has been empty for 20 years.

Cork Senator Colm Burke (FG) has said the building was once used to temporarily house gardaí that were new to the area. He has called for it to be returned to use as accommodation as a matter of urgency. The Cork North Central representative added that the property is part of an OPW folio of around 50 properties across Cork, which could include more vacant sites.

“The OPW need to put this property back into the market or at least engage with Cork County Council who can then take control of it,” said Senator Burke.

“It’s a house that would need very little work to make it habitable, in the middle of a housing estate in Blarney, and I think the gardaí in Blarney don’t even know that this house was available for them.

“At a time when we need to have as many houses as possible in use, this needs to be made available.”

Senator Burke questioned whether the folio might contain a number of similar properties across Cork which have been empty for lengthy periods of time.

He said that local authorities need to be made aware of them so it can engage with the OPW to make them available on the housing market.

“This OPW folio of up to 50 properties contains some Garda stations, but it may also contain a number of properties which have been vacant for years,” he added.

“They’re spread out all across Cork, from Castletownbere to Carrignavar and Blarney,” said Senator Burke, who also highlighted the case of 10 derelict houses in Carrignavar, which the Evening Echo reported on this year, and which have been vacant for more than a decade.

The houses, built before 2008, are boarded up and fenced off.

Senator Burke said there has been no proposals as to what to do with the site.

He called on the developer to finalise the plans or meet with Cork County Council to resolve issues with the site.

“It cannot remain an eyesore in the area,” he said.

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