By Sean Moriarty

A local councillor yesterday (Thursday) quizzed the South West Regional Health Forum about what would happen to surplus lands at St Finan’s Hospital once the new community hospital is completed.

Last month the Killarney Advertiser revealed that the much-awaited new community hospital has taken another step towards reality after Cork Kerry Community Healthcare confirmed that planning permission for a new 130-bed Community Nursing Unit has been submitted to Kerry County Council.

This development, which will be built on the grounds of St Finan’s Hospital, will replace the current St Columbanus Home and the District Hospital (short stay unit).

It will be made up of four 25-bed units and a 30-bed dementia unit. The new facility will be all ensuite single room accommodation.

However, once construction is completed, there will be surplus lands and buildings on the site and Cllr Michael Gleeson asked yesterday’s forum if there were any future plans for this land.

“Has the HSE South, in consultation with other interested parties, determined any positive and productive uses for the former St Finan’s building and the attached lands which are surplus to requirements for the proposed Community Hospital?” he asked the forum which was held in Cork City Hall yesterday afternoon.