Kilkenny County Council has issued a statement today
Kilkenny County Council has issued a statement this afternoon saying that the Bróg Maker pub, which it recently purchased for a sum of €850,000, has not been bought to accommodate refugees.
There has been considerable speculation about why the local authority decided to purchase the pub on the Castlecomer Road, and its proposed future use. People living in the area were surprised to learn of the deal this week, and several local councillors appear to be equally perplexed.
It has emerged that many of them were unaware of the substantial purchase until after the fact, only being informed on Monday afternoon that the deal had been done.
The statement today, from director of services Mary Mulholland, indicates the council intends to turn the site into a 'small housing development' of around 15 units. These plans will need the support of the elected members, some of whom still have questions about the transaction.
The council's statement in full:
"There is much speculation in the public arena surrounding the intended use of the Broguemaker which Kilkenny County Council confirmed on Monday it has purchased. The Chief Executive of the Council, Colette Byrne has confirmed that the premises has not been bought to accommodate refugees and any speculation to that effect is inaccurate and incorrect.
"There are currently 1,349 households on the housing waiting list, in need of homes and seeking housing in Kilkenny City. Our housing department continually seeks opportunities to purchase properties and sites to meet the housing need in Kilkenny City and County. The Broguemaker was purchased by Kilkenny County Council to help meet this need.
"The site is relatively small and the initial assessment indicates that a small housing development, containing in the region of 15 units, of various sizes, would be appropriate on this site. Colette Byrne confirmed that work will now commence on the design of a scheme for this site and that there will be public consultation when the draft scheme is ready in Spring 2018."