THERE was the strongest indication that a saga that has gone on for more than 20 years in Wexford’s town centre is finally coming to a conclusion, as contractors unloaded materials at two long derelict properties on Bride Street.
The two houses had fallen into major disrepair in recent years, with trees even growing up through the roofs. In October of last year, Wexford County Council revealed a plan to deal with the derelict properties once and for all, by demolishing them and building three apartments in their place. The development will consist of two 2 bed apartments and one 1 bed, all with open-plan kitchen/living/dining facilities.
The houses are due to be demolished this week and the ESB have issued notice to customers in the area that there will be a power outage in the area to facilitate this on Thursday, July 14.
As contractors moved on site on Monday, it was the beginning of the end of a long drawn out process. Having raised the issue countless times over two decades, veteran councillor Davy Hynes was glad to see a conclusion in sight, but was disappointed by how long it has taken to get to this point.
"Thankfully we’re finally getting to the end of this,” he said. “I wasn’t too long a councillor when I first brought this up. It’s definitely something that should’ve happened a long time ago. We need more urgency when it comes to looking at these vacant properties around town. There are so many more out there that could be used by people and could provide a home for a family.”
In terms of the Bride Street houses, there were some raised eyebrows when the cost of €720,000 to provide the three apartments was revealed.
"I made the point that if we acted on this five years ago, it probably would’ve cost half that,” Cllr Hynes said. “The longer these things are left, the more they will eventually cost. It’s so expensive to do this type of work. I am really glad that it's finally happening though. This is one of the oldest streets in Wexford and things shouldn’t have been left like that for so long.”