What next for Enniscorthy’s derelict sites?

By Dan Walsh

It has been the elephant in the room for a considerable time and a regular topic at monthly meetings of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council and the unsavoury sight of derelict buildings was under strict scrutiny from members at todays October meeting held under Covid-19 guidelines at the Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy.

Tom Banville, Senior Executive Officer at Wexford County Council’s Planning Department was present to update members on the current state of derelict buildings in the Enniscorthy district and to address members queries.

Mr Banville said there are eight properties on the Derelict Sites register. Kickham’s House (better known locally as the former Irish Street Stores) was acquired by Wexford County Council in July 2020. Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy described Kickham House as “a disaster waiting to happen” and she could envisage it “going on fire” if nothing is done!

The former Murphy-Flood’s site at Market Square in the town centre, according to a report, the Property Management Department is in negotiations and while a new hoarding has been erected and rubbish removed by the owner, the property remains derelict.

The old Irish Street Stores (or Kickham’s House as Wexford County Council calls the property, is a derelict site in Enniscorthy town centre.

Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan raised issues on the eastern side of the River Slaney. Minor works have been carried out by the owner of Springvalley Nursing Home recently with the removal of some vegetation, a metal fence has been partially replaced and some green netting has been installed to restrict access. However, the property remains derelict.

The famous Rock Factory featuring the once internationally renowned Breen’s Carriage Factory is also under pressure. Property Management is under discussion in relation to the acquisition of the property. The owner is in Receivership.

The old Cogan’s Bar on Templeshannon Quay was recently sold and works have been carried out and consequently “the property is no longer considered derelict” and notice has been served to remove the property from the Derelict Site Register.

These are the “once prominent town properties”, but there are also a number of lesser known properties on the list including private houses. And as for the numbers that may be heading for the Derelict Site Register going forward… it doesn’t bear thinking about!

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