A NEWCASTLE West councillor has been taken to task over comments made on local radio that his five council colleagues needed to “get off their butts” in getting vacant Council properties renovated in the West Limerick town.
At last week’s district meeting, Independent councillor Jerome Scanlan proposed that immediate action is taken to renew properties in Assumpta Park and Sharwood Estate in Newcastle West.
Cllr Scanlan told the council executive that he was embarrassed over the state of disrepair a number of properties had been allowed fall into. He also said that diapers and rubbish bags were being discarded at one property, which is now rat-infested.
“It is a total disgrace. Nobody would want to see in this their neighbourhood in any area of Limerick. It is an embarrassment, to put it mildly. It is shameful and I want something done about it and I want something done about it now,” he declared.
Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Collins seconded the motion and took the view that the properties in question were structurally sound.
“It is a crying shame that we can’t access funding to get these four houses occupied for four families crying out for housing,” he said.
Fine Gael councillor Tom Ruddle was of the opinion that the vacant houses “made a show of the whole estate”.
Cllr John Sheahan also wanted action to be taken.
“I tuned into a radio programme where Cllr Scanlan was voicing his opinion about housing and made out he was the only voice on this issue.
“He said the other councillors needed to ‘get off their butts’.
“This is totally disingenuous and it is incumbent that this job is done now as soon as possible,” he added.
Cllr Liam Galvin warned that if Cllr Scanlan wanted to go on public radio and be disingenuous, “two could play at that game”.
“I have done as much as I can. Maybe more than you, truth be told,” Cllr Galvin claimed.
“Your comment is completely uncalled for,” he added.
The council executive pointed out that they had representations from all the area councillors on the vacant properties that were mentioned. They also told council members that work work is due to commence on some of these properties by next month.