THE Health Service Executive has been urged to have a major rethink its plans to offer the sprawling St Finan’s Hospital complex and surrounding land for public sale.
KillarneyToday.com revealed last November that an application from Kerry County Council to acquire 5.66 acres of HSE land – in the Ballydribbeen area – was the only expression of interest received from any state body.
As a result, a decision was made to invite private bids and it is understood that a number of interested parties have already visited the site.
“There has been no further interest in the former Saint Finan’s building and surrounding lands 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 HSE itself will retain part of the campus for a Public Private Partnership development of a new 10,045sq m community nursing unit which is earmarked for a site adjacent to the bypass road, where Killarney Celtic FC previously played their home games.
Now, however, a Kerry TD has demanded that the St Finan’s building and grounds in Killarney should be kept in public ownership and not sold off to private interests as is being proposed.
Deputy Danny Healy-Rae said the complex should be used for the greater good of Killarney.
“It has enormous potential for job creation and the development of tourist attractions as well as several other proposals that would benefit the greater Killarney area,” Deputy Healy-Rae remarked.
Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Michael Gleeson, previously suggested that the site be developed either as a centre for distance learning or as apartments for retired people.
Cllr Gleeson said another use could 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.
The protected structure hospital building, built in 1846, has been vacant since 2012.
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