01 Oct 2022

Waterford election hopeful says Franciscan friary should be used for housing

Waterford election hopeful pays tribute to parting Franciscans

Waterford election hopeful pays tribute to parting Franciscans

Waterford election hopeful Una Dunphy has paid tribute to the Franciscan order in Waterford after it was announced their city friary would close.

"The closure of the Franciscan friary in Waterford sees the end of an era but need not mark the end of the work carried out
by this order in the city," the People Before Profit candidate said.

"The property, which will be vacated next month, should be handed over to the Council to house those in need of housing in the city. This would be in keeping with the ideology of the Franciscans who have the poor at the centre of their ethos," she added.

Local candidate Una Dunphy said: “The Franciscans have an excellent history of helping the poor and sick in Waterford,
and what better legacy to leave than a building that could house people amidst our worsening housing crisis. The Respond
housing charity was set up by a Franciscan in Waterford in 1984 and has gone from strength to strength, to become a
national agency.”

"This fine building and grounds could provide long-term accommodation for many in need in Waterford. The building
stretches from the church right around to City Square, with an enclosed garden. The area is perfect for individual housing
units which are in high demand in the city and can also free up larger units for families."

"When PBP with Take Back the City Waterford, occupied the two Presbytery buildings last September to highlight the
amount of empty building in the city while the population suffers from a housing and homeless crisis, we were unaware
that the council was renting the building from the Bishop."

"Rather than lease buildings in need of serious repair, these buildings are in perfect condition and could be inhabited immediately. Una said “ We couldn’t believe the state of repair of the Presbytery and remarked how both buildings could be developed into high spec apartments by the council while keeping their aesthetics of architectural design, but obviously this would be a time consuming and costly project."

"The Franciscan building, on the other hand, would offer a virtual turn-key property for those in need of immediate housing.”

"PBP Waterford remain committed to campaigning for improved housing outcomes for the people of Waterford and nationally through Raise the Roof Campaign," Una concluded.

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