City Council intends to sell vacant former Abode site in Mahon

City Council intends to sell vacant former Abode site in Mahon
Demolition of the former ABODE building on Skehard Road. Pic: Larry Cummins

THE former Abode site in Mahon will not be used for the development of a library in the area.

Cork City Council has confirmed its intention to sell the now-vacant site after the former charity building was demolished in recent weeks.

However, city chiefs have confirmed that they are still exploring options to deliver a library to the south-east of the city.

Discussions have taken place with central government to source funding not only for a library in Mahon, but also for improvements to the city centre library, according to Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council.

Ms Doherty told a meeting of the council that the site will be listed for sale on the open market.

No timeframe was given for the potential sale, though the city chief indicated that it would be sooner rather than later.

City officials are keen to see the site used to prevent it becoming a magnet for antisocial behaviour once again.

Ms Doherty said, "This is a vacant site in a very significant residential area and it is for this purpose that we have suggested bringing it to the market for sale.

"We have yet to decide whether this will be an open sale or an invitation with conditions attached, as we have done with other sales in recent times.

"This site needs to go. If we leave it as it is with no sign of money to develop it then we will end up with far worse problems than we had previously."

The former charity building lay idle for more than a decade after Abode moved to a new, purpose-built location nearby.

Plans to convert the Skehard Road site into a library for Mahon were drawn up, though funding never materialised and the building fell into disarray.

It attracted significant antisocial behaviour and, in recent times, became used frequently by heroin users.

In March, members of the local drugs task force cleared away more than thirty needles and other drug paraphernalia from the building, though local councillors pushed for a more permanent solution.

City officials green-lit the demolition, which took place at the end of April.

The site has now been fully cleared and 'properly secured from unauthorised entry', according to management at Cork City Council.

Local councillor Nicholas O'Keeffe welcomed the demolition of the derelict building.

He proposed that the money raised through the sale would be ring-fenced for the development of a library in the area, noting that the south-east remains the only ward in the city centre without its own library service.

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