By Sean Moriarty
Some of the buildings and lands surrounding the landmark St Finan’s site in Killarney are to be offered up for sale, the Cork Kerry Regional Health Forum revealed this week.
Earlier this year the Health and Safety Executive lodged a planning permission application with Kerry County Council as part of a long-term plan to get the much needed new community hospital off the ground.
A further 5.7 acres of the site will be acquired by Kerry County Council for social housing.
All other buildings and lands will now be offered for sale to private developers after the HSE failed to find additional interest within the public sector.
At last week’s Cork Kerry Regional Health Forum meeting in Cork City Mayor of Killarney Cllr Michael Gleeson asked the forum to confirm if it had determined any positive and productive uses for the attached lands that were surplus to requirements for the proposed new Community Hospital.
Ger Reaney, Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Health Care confirmed at the meeting that the HSE would retain part of the main campus for construction of the hospital and aside from the social housing plan there was no further interest in the land.
“There has been no further interest in the former St Finan’s building and the surrounding land to date, and so it is the HSE’s intention to dispose of the remainder of this property, via public sale, in the near future,” said Mr Reaney.
Cllr Gleeson expressed disappointment at the revelation. The previous town council and the current Municipal District Council have campaigned since the hospital’s closure in 2012 for the land to be kept in the public domain. Suggestions included homes for the elderly or a remote campus for one of the local universities or third level colleges for the purpose of hotel and catering education.
“I ask the HSE to again consider these suggestions before proceeding,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.
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