Supporting Local News

Development board needed to deliver plan for St Brigid’s site

A development board must be established to deliver a plan for the meaningful redevelopment of the St. Brigid’s Hospital campus.

That’s according to local election candidate Alan Harney, who lashed out at what he called ‘a clear failure’ to deliver a future for the campus to date.

“The HSE has been dragging its heels for many years and over that time the state of repair of all of the buildings has been deteriorating,” he said.

“As I have been out and about meeting people over the past number of months, it is very clear that people locally have had enough of unfulfilled promises. We are currently told that an evaluation of the property is being undertaken on behalf of the HSE.

“However, as far back as 2018, the HSE sought expressions of interest from state bodies and other stakeholders in relation to these lands and we were told that the OPW completed a report at that time.

“It now appears that six years on the HSE is going around in circles, it is back completing another round of property reports and does not have a vision for the future of the site,” he said.

He called for the establishment of a board with the power to bring together the state agencies and stakeholders, along with representatives of the local community to develop comprehensive and achievable proposals for the future of the site.

“There is a clear precedent for this approach, with the establishment of a development agency to develop the former Grangegorman Hospital in Dublin, with a very successful outcome. We need to follow that blueprint in Ballinasloe,” he said.

“The longer we wait for action from the HSE, the state of dilapidation of the magnificent stone cut buildings is ever worsening. In the short term, I would like to see action to repair the exterior of these buildings and secure them against the elements so we do not see further decline. The funding streams are there, but we need a board in place with the power and willingness to access them.

“St Brigid’s has played a huge part in the lives of my family through many generations, and I know that it is the same for so many other families locally. We need to take action to ensure that those buildings can once again play a crucial role in the story of Ballinasloe going forward,” he concluded.

Pictured: Alan Harney in the grounds of St Bridgets Hospital, Ballinasloe with the pitch and the pod buildings in the background.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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