By Sean Moriarty

Cllr Michael Gleeson, Mayor of Killarney has received what he describes as “a very strong expression of interest” from a property firm that represents a five-star hotel group with a view to buying St Finan’s Hospital.


The site was once home to Kerry’s Psychiatric Hospital since 1852, but the entire building has been closed since 2012.


Earlier this year the HSE announced it applied to Kerry County Council to build Killarney’s new community hospital.


However, once construction is completed, there will be surplus lands and buildings on the site and Mayor Gleeson has been campaigning for a long time to ensure the site is used in its entirety for community or other projects.


In November the HSE confirmed that there had been no other interest in the surplus lands from other Government agencies, and the lands and other buildings on the site are to be offered up for sale.


Gleeson’s links with the site and his long term campaign means he is recognised as the ‘go to person’ in Killarney when the future of the site is up for discussion.


As a result of this a property firm that represents a five-star hotel group approached Gleeson this week to enquire about the potential sale of the site.


“All I could do was direct her towards the Property Section of the HSE,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I would describe it as a very strong expression of interest and while it is good news I remain disappointed that there was no interest from the Government to develop the site into much needed homes for the elderly or other community projects.”