Minister hails housing progress

Minister for Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, hailed the efforts of Cavan County Council in delivering much-needed social housing across a variety of schemes during a visit to the county yesterday (Friday), May 20.

During his visit, Minister O’Brien inspected progress on the construction of six new social houses by local contractor Crosserlough Construction in Butlersbridge, the delivery of 15 new homes in Ballinagh by Cavan contractor Sandar Construction, the restoration and deep energy retrofit of vacant units at John Paul Avenue, Cavan Town, by local contractor Hyland Construction, and a partnership between Cavan County Council and approved housing body Tuath to deliver 25 units at Drumalee Manor, Cavan Town.

Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Cllr Clifford Kelly (FF) welcomed the Minister to Cavan. “The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has been very supportive of Cavan County Council’s drive to increase social housing provision in the county, and I am pleased Minister O’Brien has been able to come here today to witness first hand the excellent work that is being delivered by our housing construction team, working with local contractors and partner agencies such as Tuath.”

Speaking at Drumalee Manor, where he opened phase one of a 25-home development, delivered by Cavan County Council and Tuath Housing Association through the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) Scheme with an investment of €4.6 million, Minister O’Brien said: “I was delighted to see first-hand the number of housing projects, which are currently in development across county Cavan. The Government’s new housing plan, Housing for All, puts a significant emphasis on projects such as these and we will deliver 90,000 new social home between now and 2030 all across the country. It’s particularly welcome to see the big focus on retrofitting and bringing vacant social homes back into use and I highly commend Cavan County Council for the work they are doing in this regard.”

Acting Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, Eoin Doyle said: “This visit highlights the diverse approach that Cavan County Council is taking with respect to delivering on our social housing targets and the Government’s ambitious ‘Housing for All’ plan. Through the delivery of turnkey housing developments, a ramped-up voids programme, and fruitful partnerships with approved housing bodies such as Tuath, Cavan County Council is leaving no stone unturned as we seek to meet the social housing needs of the county.

“I am particularly pleased that so many local contractors have been successful in securing contracts for social housing delivery and that Cavan County Council has been able to support local jobs with contracts worth €17 million currently being delivered by local businesses, providing a welcome boost to the local economy,” added Mr Doyle.

In total, Cavan County Council and partner approved housing bodies are currently overseeing the construction or renovation of over 200 housing units in the county, with an investment of almost €25 million.

In the east of the county, Minister O’Brien also visited two significant capital projects being undertaken by Cavan County Council at present, the new Ballyjamesduff Fire Station and the Virginia Civic Centre, Library, and Ramor Theatre.

Due to open later this year, the state-of-the-art €1.5million Ballyjamesduff Fire Station, which is being funded entirely by the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, is being also being delivered by local firm Sandar Construction and is the last of the county’s 10 fire stations to be modernised.

Work on the flagship Virginia Civic Centre is expected to be completed by main contractor Demac Construction by the end of this summer. The landmark project, which will comprise a new library, additional theatre space at the Ramor Theatre, and a shared multipurpose civic events space - both indoor and outdoor - will cater to the needs of all services located therein and the broader community.

The project is being funded through the €3,963,525 in funding under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund, through the Department of Rural and Community Development, with a further €1.3 million in funding to be provided from Cavan County Council’s own resources.