By Dan Walsh at Gorey Civic Centre
Cllr Joe Sullivan spoke out strongly against what he termed “lack of action from the housing department” and told last Tuesday’s monthly meeting of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council of the housing situation being “in a sorry state” with only nine houses available since January and no prospect of any more in the near future?”
Cllr Sullivan questioned the situation at St. Waleran’s, stated that there are 12 houses idle in Tober Mhuire View and claimed the list gets longer and frustrated by lack of action from the housing department. He added that there are “failures in outrageous circumstances” and North Wexford is facing “serious problems.
Cllr Willie Kavanagh recalled attending a photo shoot in The Ballagh three years ago and told the houses would be ready in a year! He blamed Irish Water for holding up progress at The Ballagh.
Helen Frayne from Wexford County Council housing department told the meeting that four houses (out of a scheme of 16) would be ready next week in Blackwater. She outlined delays in relation to Tober Mhuire View in Gorey.
Cllr Anthony Donohoe addressed the St. Joseph’s site on Wexford St., Gorey, and he hoped “there would never be a house on it and it would be the worst decision ever made and it should be a car park.”
Cllr Andrew Bolger had a query about an affordable housing site at Ramsfort Park and asked about modular housing as a means of speeding up matters.
“Gorey is in crisis. We need houses,and it is an emotional issue” noted Cllr Mary Farrell. Cllr Diarmuid Devereux said “We need to be honest with the signals we send out and not be building up people’s hopes. We need to be realistic and tell people there are no houses!”
Cllr Kavanagh returned to the debate and suggested that vacant houses could be put back in use quicker.
Cllr Sullivan wondered if we (the Council) could be given any hope? “There are 900 on the housing list and there is nothing to tell us?” Cathaoirleach Cllr Pip Breen ended the debate, which became heated at times, by admitting “there are no houses.”
Cllr Anthony Donohoe had questions about progress at the St. Waleran’s site. “We have that site for three years and if some of the big builders had been brought in, we would have families living on that site today?” Liz Hore, Director of Services, is to bring an update to the June meeting.