The war of words over the redevelopment of St. Patrick’s Park continued last week.
Sinn Fein representative, Mark Lynch said; “Sinn Fein fully welcomes the Council’s decision to build 20 new houses in the area as we are need of better quality and more Council houses.
“We however do object to the demolition of 40 houses which are less than 30 years old, most of which are in good condition and all of which have recently been insulated at a cost of up to E5,000.
“To knock these houses due to “anti-social behaviour” issues or “bad planning” makes no sense, especially at a time of financial constraint.
“It also shows that some of our county councillors continue to have the old Celtic Tiger mind-set of bulldozing over an issue, at any cost, rather than fixing an issue.
“We have spoken to many residents who wish to leave “The Park” and I have given them my word that Sinn Fein would support them in their move and help them to secure a fair deal on the move with the council if they wish.
“Those residents who wish to stay in their family home of 20 years plus, we will be fighting for as we are not in the businesses of letting people be moved from their homes against their will.”
Responding to criticism by local residents and who said they felt their public representatives were speaking on behalf of the council and not on behalf of the people, Cllr. Spike Nolan said one person had contacted him from St Patrick’s Park since he spoke to the Leinster Leader three weeks ago.
“If there is anybody out there who is not happy with this, please get in contact with me and let me know,” he said.
The councillors said the majority of people they had been speaking to were in favour of the redevelopment, something with which some of the residents disagree.
Cllr. Fiona O’Loughlin previously said; “I have not spoken to every resident but I have been speaking to a lot of them. It certainly would be untrue to say I did not speak to the residents. In fact at the very start of this process, we had three meetings with the council architect at the time Brian Swan, and I would have been at every one of them. I also would have been at the open days, ” she said.
She stressed she did not attend the one-on-one meetings with residents and officials as they were held privately for confidentiality reasons. She said there was no question of people being forced out of their homes and she would work with the residents who want to move, those who want to move temporarily, and those who want to stay.