Wicklow TD says ‘Delgany is crying out for community space’ as HSE building still empty

The vacant building in Delgany owned by the HSE.

Tom GalvinBray People

Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore has written to the HSE requesting an update on the status of the transfer of the vacant HSE building in Delgany to Wicklow County Council for community use.

It follows proposals put forward by Delgany Community Council last July, which were backed by the Social Democrats TD together with Wicklow Fine Gael TD Simon Harris, to secure the former Health Centre in Delgany for a new multi-purpose community facility.

The HSE owns the building and had said it was going to put it up for sale on the open market, but both Mr Harris and Ms Whitmore voiced their support for it remaining a public facility and being transferred to the Council.

Delgany Community Council’s vision was for the centre to serve as a community health, wellbeing and biodiversity hub, to include an interpretive centre showcasing the rich environmental resources and built heritage in Delgany.

Speaking on the issue, Deputy Whitmore said: “The HSE's building in Delgany has sat vacant for a number of years. It is a building located right in the middle of the village, and its a real shame that it isn’t being actively used. Over a year ago, when I first raised this with the HSE, I learned that the building was about to go on the open market for sale. I then requested that the building be examined as a possible community centre.

"I have since been in regular contact with the HSE and Council in relation to this matter, and I was delighted in September last year to receive confirmation from the HSE that they were in dialogue with officials in Wicklow County Council to transfer the building. At that time, they confirmed to me that a valuation was being done and the contract for sale would progress in quarter one 2023.”

“With Delgany crying out for a community space, including a location to showcase its diverse history including nature walks, the Three Trouts Stream and its unique archaeological heritage, it was welcome news last year to hear that progress was underway to transfer the building to the Council. However, the promised update for quarter one in 2023 has not materialised, which is why I have now again written to the HSE.”

“Delgany is a growing community,” she added, “with much housing development in progress. Unfortunately, community infrastructure has not kept pace with this growth, and a community centre is very much needed in the village.

“The Delgany Community Council has campaigned long and hard on commencing the negotiations last year with Wicklow County Council to acquire the building and we need to see some tangible results with the process. The long-term benefit for the local community and the wider community of Wicklow County will be immense and I am hopeful of a positive response from the HSE,” she added.