'It belongs to the children of Kerry' - Don't sell care home farm, Franciscan order urged
Parents of residents of a Kerry care home are urging the religious order who once ran the facility to halt its plans to sell its 110 acre farm as they say it belongs to the children of Kerry.
Jack Fitzpatrick of St Mary of the Angels Parents and Relatives Association in Beaufort, whose son Bernard has been in the home since 1981, said the Doyle farming family donated their valuable land to the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood in the late 1960s as their own daughter was a member of the order.
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It was decided by the Bishop of Kerry at the time that the land would be dedicated to the care of the children of Kerry, and St Mary of the Angels was founded.
While the order transferred the care home to St John of Gods, the farm is still owned by the order, and they have decided to sell it.
But Mr Fitzpatrick said: "This was valuable land donated by the Doyle family in good faith to the nuns.
"The bishops decided it would be for the children of Kerry and now it is being taken away from them.
"If they have to sell it, maybe four or five acres of it could be kept to create a space for the children for respite care."
A spokesperson for the order said that the farm is being sold to fund the care of the elderly Franciscan sisters, many of whom worked at the St Mary of the Angels Centre.
The sale is being handled by Tom Spillane. It will be sold as an entire when it comes to auction at the Royal Hotel, Killarney at 3pm on Thursday, May 30.