Kerry housing? Leave it to Mr O’Brien

VIP visitor: Stephanie Westhall, who moved into her new house at Láthair na Mánach in Rathmore last Friday, gets a call from Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, with Minister for Education Norma Foley, Cllr Niall Kelleher and Mayof of Kerry Cllr Jimmy Moloney.
Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan

THE minister with responsibility for housing visited a number of projects in Killarney this Monday to ascertain how they were progressing and what steps are being taken to meet local accommodation needs.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, also undertook a whistle-stop tour of developments in Barraduff, Rathmore, Farranfore and Tralee.

Chief among the events on the agenda was the official opening of Láthair na Mánach – a new €3.8 million 20-unit social housing development in Rathmore – and the official opening of An Carrigín, a 28-unit social housing development in Tralee which involved an investment of €5 million.

Kerry County Council senior engineer, David Doyle (right) outlining Killarney Urban Regeneration Development plans to Minister O’Brien

Minister O’Brien also visited the Áras Phadraig site in Killarney which has been earmarked for development as well as toured the Island of Geese site in Tralee which is currently being developed by Kerry County Council.

The minister’s schedule also consisted of presentations on and visits to the sites of the Killarney and Tralee Urban Regeneration Development Fund projects, both of which were included in URDF funding.

Minister Darragh O’Brien chatting with Tracey Brosnan as he visited the Co-operative Housing Ireland development in Barraduff

Minister O’Brien announced last March that €16.06 million was being allocated to the Destination Killarney project to allow for public realm improvements and a traffic management strategy to expand and diversify the town’s core and link it more closely to the national park.

That plan will also involve regenerating the Áras Phádraig site on Killarney.

The funding announcement of €15.93 million for Tralee allows for the completion of the town centre public realm, further develop the Island of Geese site and support major areas of intervention for Tralee in relation to its economic growth.

Kerry County Council Chief Executive, Moira Murrell, and council officials briefed the minister on the scope and progress of both URDF projects, and their potential impact to Killarney and Tralee.

Minister O’Brien visiting the new Clúid Armagh House housing development on Killarney’s Park Road with Minister for Education Norma Foley. Mayor of Killarney Cllr Marie Moloney, Mayor of Kerry Cllr Jimmy Moloney, Kerry County Council Chief Execurive Moira Murrell, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae, Cllr NiallKelleher and James O’Halloran, Clúid

Minister O’Brien said he was delighted to see first-hand the number of housing projects which are currently in development in Kerry.

“Having just launched Housing for All, the government’s new housing plan for Ireland, it’s particularly exciting to see a wide range of projects which will provide much needed homes for people,” he said.

“It was also important for me to visit Farranfore and to reaffirm the commitment to the investment in water services infrastructure in Kerry. There are numerous water and wastewater projects at various stages of development all across Kerry which I know people are dependent on,” the minister added.