Nine long-vacant Army houses at centre of row over housing in Cork city

Nine long-vacant Army houses at centre of row over housing in Cork city
Councillor Tim Brosnan, who has criticised the Department of Defence for allowing the houses to go unused for a decade.

A Cork City Councillor has slammed the Department of Defence for leaving nine houses vacant in Cork city centre as the housing crisis continues to worsen in the city.

Nine houses, which formerly acted as officers' quarter, at the Camp Field in Cork have been vacant since 2007.

The houses, known as 'Sidney Terrace', are reported to be in a state of disrepair having been vacant for ten years.

Local councillor Tim Brosnan hit out at the Department of Defence and senior ranking officials for 'failing to act in the public interest' in relation to the houses.

The houses were vacated in 2006 after the army secured vacant possession as part of its strategy to no longer what were previously known as married quarters for serving personnel.

A number of houses were demolished, though nine remain at the Camp Field, according to Mr Brosnan.

He claimed that, at one point, these houses could have been easily converted into ready use for people in Cork city.

While the deterioration of the properties in the last decade makes returning them to use more difficult, the Fianna Fáil councillor is still confident that they could be made useful in the context of the housing crisis.

However, he has condemned the failure of the Department of Defence and senior civil servants to maintain the properties.

"These were nine good quality houses," he said.

"In the years since, these beautiful homes have been allowed to deteriorate to a shocking state by senior personnel in the Department of Defence.

"Increasingly, it is becoming evident that there is serious underperformance by senior civil servants.

"I want someone to be held accountable for the massive losses incurred by ineptitude. I want answers and I demand action. I want Cork's politicians to get them now."

The Department of Defence confirmed that the houses were previously offered to Cork City Council for use prior to the cessation of a government housing scheme.

A spokesperson said, "The sale of the properties to Cork City Council was at an advanced stage. However, in 2010 due to the changing economic climate and the ending of the Affordable Housing Initiative, the sale did not proceed.

"The Department is available to meet with interested parties to discuss with them any proposals they may regarding the possible future use of the properties."

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