100 signatures reached
To: Clare County Councillors
Stop the Demolition of 6 Cottages on Francis Street, Ennis
We, the undersigned, are writing to express our deep concern over the decision to demolish six historic cottages on Francis Street to make way for a temporary car park. These are not just any buildings; they represent a part of Ennis' cultural heritage, and they also have the potential to provide desperately needed affordable/public housing for people in Clare who are struggling to find a place to live.
Why is this important?
The decision to demolish these homes was made by a narrow majority of only one vote, without any community consultation. We believe that this decision is short-sighted and goes against the interests of the people of Ennis. The ongoing housing crisis in Clare makes the demolition of any sound properties unacceptable. Recent figures have shown that families in all parts of Clare are being evicted into homelessness, and there is a severe shortage of emergency accommodation available. These six cottages could be homes for people in desperate straits.
We also note that this decision is at odds with the Housing for All strategy, which aims to deliver high-quality, affordable housing and end homelessness in Ireland. The proposed demolition of these cottages to make way for a temporary car park is not in line with this strategy.
The current dispute over the demolition of the Francis Street cottages and the subsequent construction of a temporary car park shows remarkable parallels with a previous controversy that shook the town only a few years ago, involving the Ennis Market Building, which carried a staggering price tag of €1.75m.
However, as the project has dragged on, it has become increasingly clear that the promises made by its advocates including former Mayor Ann Norton, were far from reality.
There are several striking similarities between the market building scandal and the proposed development on Francis Street.
One of the most obvious is the involvement of some of the same councillors who were implicated in the market building debacle.
There is a need for greater accountability and transparency in local government decision-making. Residents and community groups must be given a voice in these important decisions that will shape the future of our town, and elected officials must be held accountable for their actions and decisions.
We urge the Ennis Municipal District Council to halt the demolition of the cottages on Francis Street and to consider the long-term impact of this decision on Ennis' cultural heritage and the ongoing housing crisis. The proposed cost of upwards of one million euro to build a temporary car park could be much better spent on renovating these cottages for use as affordable/public housing for local families.
Furthermore, we are deeply concerned about the authority given to the Ennis 2040 DAC and the possible privatisation of publicly owned assets. It is essential that the town's assets and resources are managed in the interests of the community, not for short-term financial gain.
We, therefore, call on the Ennis Municipal District Council to provide affordable/public housing for the people of Clare by renovating these cottages on Francis Street.
We demand transparency and community involvement in decision-making processes and call on the council to prioritise the needs and interests of the people of Clare.
We also call on concerned residents and the wider county to contact the following Councillors who voted in favour of the demolition, and to express their opposition to this decision:
Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy:
Councillor Paul Murphy:
Councillor Mary Howard:
Councillor Ann Norton:
Together, we can make our voices heard and ensure that Ennis' heritage and homes are protected for future generations, and that affordable/public housing is prioritized in our town's development.
Save Francis Street Alliance