FRUSTRATED Mahon residents have called for the demolition of the former Abode building on Skehard Road, claiming the site has become a hive of anti-social behaviour and is frequented by drug addicts and squatters.
The concerns were raised at the most recent meeting of the Mahon and Blackrock Community Safety Forum.
“That Abode building will have to be knocked. At night time fellas are sleeping there and it has become a centre for drug taking and drug exchange and something serious will happen there if action is not taken,” said one resident.
Local Sinn Fein City Councillor Chris O'Leary echoed these concerns.
“The sad reflection is that if there was a fire in the place tomorrow, we might be taking bodies out of it,” he said.
“The chief executive of the council, and others, have looked at it and now we're waiting on an engineer's report on what needs to happen next.”
The building, which is next to St Michael's Cemetary, previously housed the Abode centre for people with disabilities, but went into disrepair a number of years ago after the centre moved to the nearby location of Kilbrack Grove.
“Sadly, Abode moved out and the City Council never did anything to make sure that it was occupied. If it had been occupied, it would have stopped a lot of the anti-social behaviour,” said Cllr O'Leary.
“It's in a bad state. Residents here, and rightly so, are quite annoyed about it.”
Proposals to redevelop the site for use as a library have been debated for a number of years now, but funding for the project was pulled last year.
“The community has been looking for a library for nearly 30 years now. There's no library in Mahon or Blackrock and it's the only part of the city where there is no library,” said Cllr O'Leary.
“We need to build a library, and the Abode building would be a great spot for it, but at the end of the day there's no funding for that and we need to do something with this site right now to stop what's going on there.
“The building is unsafe and I believe at this stage that it will be knocked. That's the probability but we're waiting on the final engineer's report.”