O’Donoghue takes aim at Council’s housing model

Richard O'Donoghue, Independent. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

INDEPENDENT councillor Richard O’Donoghue took aim at the local authority this week and its methods of providing housing in the city and county.

Speaking at this Tuesday’s meeting of Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District, Cllr O’Donoghue, who runs his own construction company, insisted that he would be out of business if he used the Council’s business model.

According to the Croom native, social houses left in “pristine” condition when vacated by tenants are then allowed to fall into a state of disrepair after lying idle for up to six months and more.

“Houses that were in perfect condition when vacated are left idle for months. Hedges become overgrown, moss grows on tarmac and mold forms on walls because heating hasn’t been turned on for six months. We need to get these properties turned over straight away not six months later when they have fallen into disrepair,” Cllr O’Donoghue declared.

“If I was to run my business the way you run yours I would be out of business. We need to start thinking outside the box.”

According to the latest housing progress report for Adare-Rathkeale, no houses were purchased and leased in the district in February 2019.

Fine Gael councillor Stephen Keary was not impressed with the findings.

“It is like looking at duck eggs at the bottom of the report — it is all zeroes. We have the land. We are tripping over all the land we have and yet nothing is being built,” Cllr Keary commented.

Party colleague Adam Teskey agreed and deemed it a “disgrace” that council properties were being left empty.

Fianna Fáil councillor Kevin Sheahan then took the opportunity to thank the two Fine Gael councillors for “launching their election manifesto” at the meeting.

“Eoghan Murphy is a fine fella for building houses with his almond milk,” Independent councillor Emmett O’Brien replied.