THE former St Finan’s Hospital building and the bulk of the surrounding land is to be offered for sale to the general public, KillarneyToday.com can reveal.
Kerry County Council has submitted an application to the Health Service Executive to acquire 5.66 acres of the sprawling complex, which has been vacant since 2012, and that matter is currently being progressed.
But, it can now be confirmed, there has been no further expressions of interest in the building or the land from any other state agency so it will be shortly be offered to the public.
The HSE is to retain part of the campus for the development of a new 10,045sq m community nursing unit for which planning permission has been sought.
The site earmarked for that Public Private Partnership project is adjacent to the Killarney bypass road, which was once used as a playing pitch by Killarney Celtic FC, and it will involve the demolition of some old farm buildings.
The new unit will feature 130 en-suite bedrooms which will include 30 rooms for residents with dementia and a new access road will be provided from Upper Lewis Road
The protected structure hospital building, built in 1846, and the extensive remaining property was offered to state agencies, in line with stated policy, but the only application was from Kerry County Council which related to a site north of the bypass at Ballydribeen.
“There has been no further interest in the former Saint Finan’s building and surrounding lands to date and so it is the HSE’s intention to dispose of the remainder of this property, via public sale, in the near future,” senior HSE officials confirmed.
The issue was raised by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Michael Gleeson, at a Regional Health Forum metting in Cork when he asked what the plans were for the building and the attached lands. He said it was a source of great disappointment that the property is not to be developed for public use.
“There are many suggestions for its use and I would greatly support that it would be developed either as a centre for distance learning or as apartments for retired people,” he said.
Cllr Gleeson said another use would be as a combined centre for all public services and he asked the HSE to again consider his suggestions before proceeding with the current plans.
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