Date Published: 18-Mar-2010
By Dara Bradley
THE Sisters of Mercy’s decision to donate Lenaboy Castle at Taylor’s Hill to the Health Service Executive (HSE) has been slammed as “cynical”.
City Hall had twice requested the Order hand over the lands to Galway City Council for the development of a public memorial park for the people of Galway but this has been categorically ruled out.
Instead of donating the 10-acre site to the city, the Order is planning to build a retirement village for around 40 sisters, a house to house Provincial Archives and a primary health care facility.
It has also decided to donate Lenaboy Castle (St Anne’s) – which along with the site were formerly home to the Lenaboy Industrial School – to the HSE, who are currently leasing the premises.
But Councillor Catherine Connolly, who has campaigned for the nuns to donate the land to the people of Galway as an apology for the hardship on those who had to live in the industrial school, says the decision to hand over the building to HSE is “cynical”.
Cllr Connolly says the HSE has already rubber stamped plans to move its operations from St Anne’s to Merlin Park. She also said a building bought for £380,000 in 2000 at Mass Path, Newcastle has been empty for ten years and another building in Inverin, which was gifted to the HSE in 2005, is also lying idle.
“They cannot deal with what they have already,” she said. Cllr Connolly said when, on the back of her notice of motion, the City Manager asked for the lands to be donated to the city, “we got a letter threatening to bring us to the High Court if we touch (rezone) the land”.
“We wrote again putting the same motion and now we get a cynical letter saying they have changed their minds and are donating the land to the HSE. They have totally ignored our motion and this is extremely cynical. This was the perfect opportunity to say sorry to the people of Galway and they have ignored it,” she added.
For more on this story, see Page 11 of the Galway City Tribune.