Sunday, November 19, 2023

Peter McVerry Trust development in Mayo sparks controversy

Peter McVerry Trust's Future Uncertain Amid Financial Crisis

A proposed housing development on Ellison Street in Castlebar has become a subject of scrutiny, with Councillor Donna Sheridan expressing reservations about the project.

The council owned development, which plans to construct eight 1-bed apartments on a derelict site in the town centre, is spearheaded by the cash-strapped Peter McVerry Trust.

Councillor Sheridan's apprehensions stem from recent media reports highlighting financial challenges faced by the Peter McVerry Trust.

The Fine Gael councillor raised questions about the potential risk to the Ellison Street development in light of discussions around the charity requiring a "bailout."

Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne weighed in on the matter, stating, "The Department are ploughing money into Peter McVerry Trust," alluding to ongoing financial issues within the charity.

The trust has reportedly experienced a shortfall in income and substantial debts, putting it on the brink of collapse in recent months.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien acknowledged the financial strain on the charity, revealing that the Peter McVerry Trust would need a short-term injection of €2.3 million to sustain its operations.

To address the financial gap, the charity recently sold property in north Dublin for €1 million and aims to recoup an additional €5 million.

The property on Ellison Street, earmarked for development, currently stands as a derelict site, adorned with railings to prevent slates from hitting pedestrians underneath.

This has prompted concerns about the safety and aesthetics of the area.