Breakthrough on Crann Ard impasse in Fermoy
There's been a breakthrough, finally, in the impasse involving the Crann Ard housing estate in Fermoy that has seen 13 families allocated houses but left waiting 17 months to move in.
Cork County Council's Housing Department finally confirmed to members of the Fermoy Electoral Area of the county council on Tuesday that the developers for the estate have a contractor in place to carry out the remaining outstanding works in the estate that will allow the tenants to move in.
Work is due to start on Tuesday next, May 6th and to be completed in six to eight weeks.
At the last meeting of the Fermoy Electoral Area Committee, a deputation of residents attended to outline their plight and plead with the county council to work to get it sorted so that they can move into the houses they were promised by the housing agency MABCO almost a year and a half ago.
One resident, single mother of two Jessie Duggan made an emotional address to the meeting, saying she is 30 now and had been on the county council's housing list since she was 19.
"So you can imagine my delight when I was allocated a house in Crann Ard. I'm from Ballyhooly. I have two children, an 11 and a 7 year old. Because I was allocated the house in Fermoy I enrolled them in schools int he town in 2013. That means four trips in and out a day. They've missed 14 days of school already this year because I can't afford petrol. I'm on single parents allowance. It's very embarrassing for me to have to stand here today and tell you this. I feel very low."N
Jessie said that no one else was losing sleep over this only the tenants involved.
"We are all suffering the same stress. I took my children out of school where they were settled and moved them to Fermoy. They have settled now but I can't let them have friends come home with them after school because I cannot afford the petrol to bring them in and out. Our lives have been put on hold for the past 16 months. Enough is enough. It's just not fair," she told members and council officials.
Minister of State Sean Sherlock said he'd been working extensively with the AIB and with councillor Noel McCarthy for some time on behalf of the tenants. "This is a very welcome development and I am confident that the works will be carried out," he said.
Cllr Noel McCarthy had long been campaigning for the residents and it was he who secured the necessary permission to allow them to attend and address the last area meeting. He said this week that he is thrilled with the news.
"At long last there's some light at the end of the tunnel for these residents. Nobody could fail to feel sorry for what they have gone through. I urge the council now to do all in its power to ensure the works are completed on time and that as soon as is humanely possible afterwards, these people are allowed move in."
He commended council officials for working hard in the background over the past few weeks to get things moving.
Cllr Kevin O'Keeffe also heartily welcomed the news. The 13 families had suffered an awful ordeal, he said, having to wait 'far too long' after being allocated the houses. He's delighted that their long wait is almost over.
Cllr Frank O'Flynn expressed his delight too at the news, saying it had dragged on 'for far too long'. "It was a sad story but with a good ending," he said.
Happiest of all were the 13 families when advised that finally the works are going to be done and they can look forward to moving into their new houses this summer!
Thursday 1st May 6:30pm