Tipperary County Council are to re-examine the possible acquisition from the Office of Public Works of five vacant Garda houses in the town of Templemore, at the insistence of Labour Deputy Alan Kelly.
The former Minister for the Environment is to bring the Junior Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran to Templemore on Friday to address this and other situations in the town, and is of the view that the vacant houses could be used by Tipperary County Council to house five families on the councils housing list.
Three of the houses are located at The Mall, Templemore and two at Church Avenue. All are currently vacant, according to Deputy Kelly who came across the information following a Parliamentary Question to the Minister in Dail Eireann. There are fourteen houses in total in State ownership in Templemore, four of which are occupied by An Garda Siochana and a further two used for Garda Training.
The five vacant properties identified for disposal were offered to Tipperary County Council in 2016 under the protocols set out in Circular 11/15: Protocols for the Transfer and Sharing of State Property Assets. The Council declined the offer to acquire the properties and Deputy Kelly has now asked the councils housing section to re-examine this on the basis of needs for family accommodation in the area.
“These are very good family homes and it would take very little to get them back into stock. I cannot understand why they are vacant when we have so many families who require such accommodation in the locality. I have asked the council to look at this again and to report back to me on it,” Deputy Kelly told The Tipperary Star this week.
He added: “The Council have assured me that they will re-examine these properties in view of the finalised terms and conditions of the Departments Buy & Renew scheme. If they are not going to move on them I would ask that the department, whom I’ve been in contact with on this issue, would ask an approved housing body to look at taking these and returning then to the much needed housing stock in the area.”
The housing list in the Templemore Thurles Municipal District has grown and grown in recent times and while the Tipperary County Council housing section has made huge strides in recent times with many property acquisitions and the returning to availablity of stock, the numbers requiring houses continues to grow. Acquiring five homes (three and four bedroom homes) in the centre of Templemore town would seem to be very desirable, especially since the properties are considered to be very well built and solid structures with sizeable gardens which would be ideal for families with young children.