PROTESTORS yesterday targeted a derelict site in Cork city, which they say is ‘perfect’ for a high-rise, high-density apartment block. They wanted to highlight unused space in the city centre.
The protest, organised by Solidarity TD, Mick Barry, councillor, Fiona Ryan, and representative, Carol Brogan, focused on a site on Kyle Street. It is on the derelict-sites register. It was previously flagged as a potential site for a Hilton hotel and has fallen into disrepair in the years since.
The site has been vacant for years and, according to Ms Ryan, is ideal for a city centre housing development.
She said that the level of dereliction in the city is “disgraceful” and that what has been highlighted is just the tip of the iceberg.
The protest took place as the Evening Echo reported on the 90 properties on the council’s derelict-sites register, which add up to a total of €20m in value, including €1.2m worth of derelict sites on North Main Street alone.
The Solidarity councillor said she hoped the protest would highlight the site as a potential accommodation block that the city could build and also said that the Government has shown that it needs to be pressured to address social inequality.
“We are at the beginning of a housing movement in Ireland,” Ms Ryan said. “We need to support civil disobedience and the other housing movements that are taking place across the country. People of my generation will never get a mortgage and mostly don’t qualify for the housing list. We need options and we need to increase the income threshold for social housing.”
Solidarity Cork North-East representative, Carol Brogan, said: “This site has been vacant for years. This site, in many ways, represents the dysfunctional housing market in Ireland. Earmarked before the financial crisis to be a Hilton hotel, it’s now laying wasteful and vacant, as a testimony to the failure of the construction industry as developers. It’s no longer acceptable for sites like this to lay idle at a time when there has never been a greater need for housing.”