Decision to buy Bróg Maker in Kilkenny 'utterly bizarre', says councillor

Concerns over how the purchase was communicated to members

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

The Brog Maker sold for €850,000 to Kilkenny County Council

A local councillor has decribed the purchase as 'bizarre'

The decision by Kilkenny County Council to purchase the iconic Bróg Maker pub on the Castlecomer Road has been described as 'utterly bizarre' by local councillor Malcolm Noonan.

Members were notified of the purchase the well-known pub and guesthouse on Monday. A spokesman for the council today confirmed the purchase of the site is for the provision of social housing, to meet the needs of approved applicants on the housing list.

"While I would welcome all efforts to address the housing crisis, I am at odds with this decision and how it was communicated to members, despite the fact that speculation around the sale was rife throughout Kilkenny last week," he said.

The Green Party councillor said that while 100% of the purchase price is recoupable from Government under the Rebuilding Ireland programme, he was disappointed that the council did not opt to buy properties in the city centre. He says such properties could have been put back into productive use and give capacity to local shops and business, as well as reducing car dependency.

"Over the past three years, I have pointed out many houses in the city centre that could be purchased for a modest outlay, restored as heritage buildings and occupied by families who would only have to walk or cycle to work, school and shops," said Cllr Noonan.

"I am not sure what the purchase of the Bróg Maker will do and I await proposals from our housing section," he said.

"Certainly, we have a consistent challenge with meeting the needs of single parents and single men, but is this the right approach? Also what will happen the pub license that came with the sale? How much will it cost to retrofit and insulate the building?

"These questions remain unanswered and it is most disingenuous that the elected members only found out at our council meeting that we had purchased the premises."