Supporting Local News


HSE readies St Brigid’s for market

The first indication of the HSE’s plans to dispose of the extensive St Brigid’s Hospital campus in Ballinasloe has come with the announcement of plans to appoint a property advisor to the site.

Since its closure ten years ago, the old psychiatric hospital has lain idle while parts of the building has suffered from dilapidation and vandalism.

But now the HSE has confirmed it has now advertised for the services of a professional property advisor to assist with valuation work; provision of strategic advice for disposal of surplus lands and buildings, and to provide expert advice in the assessment of tender proposals.

The news has been welcomed by Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who has raised the issue of the future of St Brigid’s at numerous meetings of the Regional Health Forum of which she is a member.

The Ballinasloe-based councillor has received confirmation from the HSE that it has advertised on e-tenders (the government’s electronic tendering platform) for an external property expert.

This is the first move the HSE have made regarding the St Brigid’s campus which comprises of 182 acres in three separate locations.

There are 25 acres along surrounding the hospital premises, part of which is a protected structure, and this would probably be sold as one lot if the HSE decide to dispose of the property.

Across the road, where the nurses’ home is located, there are a further 62 acres with the remainder of the lands being situated along the Creagh Road which are currently rented out to local farmers.

Cllr Parsons said that she had raised the St Brigid’s ongoing dereliction situation with the HSE and now welcomes the first real commitment to the disposal of the property.

“It’s the first step but an important one in a lengthy process which I hope will reap great benefits for the Ballinasloe area.

“I previously obtained welcome confirmation that the HSE will be retaining existing health facilities currently in operation.

“But I also hope that some of the land will be retained for the development of a Primary Care Centre and new ambulance base,” added Cllr Parsons.

The hospital was constructed in 1833 and opened as the Connacht Asylum and over the years, it was known by several different names. During the 1950s, it accommodated some 2,000 psychiatric patients.

The property advisor will value each of three sections of the St Brigid’s campus and it will most likely be sold in three different lots.

“While the land and building portfolio will stimulate private developer interest, I believe the process first allows the opportunity for sufficient state lands to be retained to meet the future needs of the public,” said Cllr Parsons.

“It is ironic that despite there being such a sizeable HSE property asset in Ballinasloe that there are limited existing clinical facilities in the town. The current derelict state of the striking buildings is dragging down the image of the entire town,” Cllr Parsons added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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