Supporting Local News

Galway County Council slammed for letting homes to fall into disrepair

The manner in which Galway County Council allowed a dozen rural houses to fall into a state of dilapidation has been lambasted by a local councillor.

Galway County Council announced that they intend selling off twelve derelict houses across the county because they do not have the financial resources to renovate them.

But Cllr Joe Byrne argued that these properties should never have been allowed fall into such a state of dereliction in the first place and could have been used to accommodate those on the housing waiting list.

However, the Kinvara-based councillor also stated that families who were born and raised in these properties should have been given ‘first refusal” in purchasing them.

It has been confirmed by Galway County Council that the twelve former social houses, currently in their ownership, are deemed to be derelict and are not considered viable to be renovated.

Some of the run-down houses are located in areas such as Kinvara, Portumna, Williamstown, Loughrea, Dunmore, Connemara and Claregalway.

According to the local authority, because of issues such as access, services, extremely rural local locations and lack of demand, it is considered that these properties are “not viable to return to social housing”.

The Council said that the twelve properties have been placed with a firm of auctioneers for their disposal. It is expected that they will be advertised for sale over the next couple of weeks.

They say that the ‘for sale’ signs will be erected on these properties and, subject to the identification of a potential buyer, approval will be sought for their disposal before a full meeting of Galway County Council.

But Galway County Council have been lambasted for allowing the properties to fall into a state of dereliction and not turning them over to other families once they were vacated.

Cllr Joe Byrne, who is Chairman of the Housing Strategic Policy Committee, that the Council have left these properties idle for around ten years and it was little wonder that they have fallen into a state of disrepair.

“I have a two major issues with this proposed sale of derelict housing stock and one relates to the fact that they weren’t maintained by the Council and immediately allocated when they became vacant.

“It was negligent of the local authority to close them down when they became vacant and allow them to reach a derelict state.

“Secondly, these are houses where children were born and bred and they should have been offered to family members on a first refusal basis as they may have wanted to renovate them for sentimental reasons,” added Cllr Byrne.

It is understood that many of the derelict houses are in such poor condition that they could be sold for little more that the value of the site in which they are standing on.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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