Tipperary Hostel Project Must be Finished to Get Value for Taxpayer’s Money – Hayes

South Tipperary T.D. Tom Hayes has strongly advocated that the work on the Tipperary Hostel Project be allowed to continue. In a speech in the Dáil on Wednesday June 2nd, he advocated that all the funding received for the project since 2000 from FÁS, Tipperary Town Council, South Tipperary County Council, the South Tipperary County Enterprise Board, and the Tipperary Leader group be used to finish this project.

“The project was set up by a voluntary group in Tipperary town to restore an old famine building as a hostel project.  Anybody who knows Tipperary town and area is aware this the project is in a RAPID town area.  I understand financial contributions were made to the project by various Departments and organisations and, in particular, from the dormant accounts fund, who contributed €300,000. A great deal of voluntary work and effort, for which those involved must be commended, has been invested in this project.  However, the project is only half-finished and the hostel, which contains a number of beautifully refurbished rooms, cannot be opened.”

“The moneys were provided to support the development of the project and to support employment in a town such as Tipperary where there is a great need for employment and capable and skilled workers were recruited to carry out work on the project.  When I visited the site some weeks ago, I met 25 extremely disappointed men, skilled bricklayers, plasterers, stonecutters, carpenters and electricians, who had been informed that their services were no longer required on the project.”

“I am greatly concerned that if the site is merely locked up and abandoned, it will be vandalised in the years to come.  As a result, a huge amount of taxpayers’ money will have been wasted.  I request that the funding required to complete the project be given to the local authority or some other agency in order that the work can be brought to a conclusion.  If work were completed, the hostel could be sold off as a going concern.  There is a great need for a hostel of this kind in the area.  It is located within walking distance of a railway station and there are many tourist attractions in west Tipperary.”

“I urge him to ensure that the money that has already been spent does not go to waste.  A way to revive the project must be found.  The shutters must not be pulled down.  Instead, we must build on the great work that has already been done in the locality.”

“The future of this project is now in the hands of Pobail, who are undertaking an audit into the project. I will be pursuing and following this up. Tax-payers money cannot be spent like this and then be allowed to go to waste with a project unfinished,” Tom Hayes said today, having raised this in the Dáil yesterday.

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