Homelessness is a real worry in Abbeyfeale

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Liam Galvin, Fine Gael. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

WITH 374 people on the Council’s Housing List in Abbeyfeale, concerns were raised this week about the real risk of homelessness in the West Limerick town.

Speaking at this Wednesday’s meeting of Newcastle West Municipal District, Fine Gael councillor Liam Galvin described the numbers on the current Housing List as “frightening”.

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Cllr Galvin pointed out that people in rural areas cannot afford to build their own homes and urged the council executive to identify service sites for those who want to build in West Limerick.

The Abbeyfeale native also believes that the current Housing List figures are a “sad indictment” of the Council’s own failings.

“Identify sites for service sites, for affordable housing and for social housing. Going down the road of 100 per cent social housing would open up another can of worms,” he told the council executive.

“Villages are falling to death.”

Party colleague John Sheahan claimed the move away from rural living was laid down in the National Framework Policy.

“This is a national development policy towards urban living to steer people to key towns and cities. The national policy needs to be changed,” Cllr Sheahan commented.

The Glin man then went onto claim that there is no such thing as affordable housing.

“All this retrofitting on social houses is costing the country a small fortune. The system is completely out of kilter. We need to put voids back into use and affordable is a word that should be done away with, there is no such thing.”

Following this Wednesday’s council meeting, elected representatives met with local authority executive for a private workshop on housing in the district.