MINISTER Willie O’Dea and Cllr Maria Byrne are looking for answers from Limerick City Council as to why residents were recently transferred from the wethouse in John’s Square to Clyde House on Alphonsus Street.
It was their understanding that no such move would occur before City Hall officials met again with local residents, the voluntary housing agency, Nostra, city councillors, Limerick TDs and Minister O’Dea.
Earlier this year, Mr O’Dea gave a commitment that no money would change hands in relation to the purchase of Clyde House until the issues and concerns of the residents of the area were addressed.
Furious at the development, Cllr Byrne said:
“Now we find that the deal has been done and the hostel residents were moved quietly over the weekend of the local elections.
“While I agree with the widespread view that the hostel in John’s Square was totally unsuited for the service being provided, I’m particularly concerned for the existing residents living in the greater area around Clyde House, but despite being given the assurance of a further meeting, we now find that the government has gone ahead and spent 12.6million euro, which is over the top in terms of current property value.
“Obviously, this property has not been revalued since property prices have dropped, yet the government has gone ahead and spent this sum without even coming back and discussing the issue and allowing the local people to put their point of view, which shows a complete lack of respect for people working and living in the area”.
Minister O’Dea lives in the area and he told this newspaper that he had been stunned to learn of the development.
“I rang Environment Minister John Gormley, from whose office the cheque for 12.6milion would have been sent, and he was utterly mystified. I’m waiting for further clarification on this issue, which I’m pursuing as we speak. We had been assured that no cheque would be sent before another meeting, at which the HSE were also to attend, was held. There are questions to be answered and I’m going to get them”.
Cllr Byrne said she found it “very strange” that on the same weekend that the residents of Bridgeman House, John’s Square were transferred to Clyde House, a similar situation occurred in Newport”.