MORE ‘chicken houses’ have been built in West Limerick over the past five years than social houses.
That was the claim of Fine Gael councillor Liam Galvin at this month’s meeting of the Newcastle West Municipal District.
The Abbeyfeale man urged the council executive to “put a plan in place” to deal with the urgent need for housing in rural Ireland. He called for a briefing to be organised on the issue as a “priority” with both the Housing and Planning departments.
“It is about time we built housing in small towns and villages. We need to get round the table and deal with this disaster. We are getting people on the phone in tears every day,” Cllr Galvin commented at last Wednesday’s local authority meeting.
“We need to get a plan in place to give people the opportunity to get a chance in life. They have the right to live in the parishes they grew up in. This is not a lot to ask.
“Unless someone drives this, it won’t happen. We need the infrastructure and we need to get people up off their backsides so we can find out where we can build houses. See where there is the capacity and infrastructure to build, but let’s just get on with it.
“We’ve taken our eye off the ball. We are the lead agency in providing housing for the district. I don’t think we have built one house in the last few years. We are a million miles away from it,” he claimed.
Director of Services for Newcastle West, Gordon Daly, promised that he would facilitate a meeting between councillors and the Planning and Housing departments early in the new year.
Cllr Galvin urged Mr Daly to prioritise rural County Limerick for housing.
“More chicken houses have been built in the district than we’ve built social houses in the last five years. That’s a frightening statistic,” the Fine Gael man replied.