Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Purchase and subsequent decision by Wicklow County Council to demolish St Paul's Lodge in Bray referred to the Public Accounts Committee

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed astonishment and bitter disappointment at the majority of Wicklow County Councillors for voting to demolish St Paul’s Lodge in Bray to construct 47 car park spaces. He stated that Wicklow Sinn Féin will now refer the issue to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

Speaking after the meeting Teachta Brady said “I’m bitterly disappointed that Wicklow County Councillors voted 16-10 to demolish St Paul’s Lodge on the Herbert Road in Bray to construct a few car parking spaces. The Council recently acquired the beautiful Edwardian home and large garden for €913,000 including the vendor’s legal and other costs. We are in the midst of a housing a homeless crisis and for the council to spend close to €1m on a house with the sole intention of demolishing it for car park spaces beggars belief.”

Bray Sinn Féin Councillor Michael O’Connor said “At the council meeting on Monday my colleague Nicola Lawless and I put forward a proposal that rather than demolish the house that the council officials purchased without consulting with the elected representatives, that it would be used as emergency accommodation for homeless families. Unfortunately this was ruled out.

We are in the middle of the worst housing crisis the council is willing to waste nearly €1m of taxpayer’s money to purchase and subsequently demolish a perfectly good house, which could be used for so many beneficial purposes. Sinn Féin believes that this is a complete waste of taxpayer’s money and that there are many unanswered questions. We have now written to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and asked them to investigate the process and the waste of taxpayer’s money.”

Councillor Nicola Lawless stated “This terrible decision by the majority of Wicklow County Councillors to demolish St Paul’s Lodge is what gives politics a bad name. This is a terrible decision and one that the Sinn Féin representatives are also following up directly with Minister Eoghan Murphy. We have written to him and asked him to step in and overturn this crazy decision.”

Teachta Brady concluded “Whilst I’m astonished and disappointed with the councillors that voted for the demolition of St Pauls Lodge, I’m particularly disappointed with the local councillors that voted for this. I’ve yet to talk to one member of the public that support this decision, so I’m not quite sure who they were representing when they took the decision they did. If additional car parking is needed for the construction of the Florentine Centre, there are many alternatives that should have been examined. The Florentine debacle has been ongoing now for over 20 years, surly that’s time enough to put in place alternative arrangements to allow for the loss to the car parking onsite during the construction process.” Ends

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