Homeless facility lies idle for a decade amid funding row

Cork city premises is not operational as HSE and local authority refuse to provide money

A former bed-and-breakfast which was refurbished 10 years ago in order to house homeless men has lain idle ever since because the HSE and Cork City Council refuse to fund its operation.

Addiction treatment charity Cuan Mhuire purchased and revamped the Cork city site in 2007 for €2.1 million, but was forced to put the project on hold because the relevant authorities failed to provide the money to run the step-down facility for men with addiction issues.

The facility aims to provide care to 16 homeless men a night when fully operational, at a cost of about €300,000 a year.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who visited the site on Western Road on Monday, appealed to the HSE and Cork City Council to release funding for the project.


“We are in the midst of the worst homeless and housing crisis in well over 50 years. This kind of pass-the-parcel approach is not acceptable. It is not credible. There is an onus and obligation on agencies to talk to each other to work out the resolution,” he said.

HSE statement

In a statement, the HSE said decisions in relation to homeless service proposals are jointly made by local authorities and the HSE under the auspices of the regional homeless Statutory Management Group (SMG).

“The Cuan Mhuire proposals for Western Road is a matter for the SMG. The HSE remains fully committed to supporting the provision of appropriate services to the homeless in the region.”

A spokeswoman for Cork City Council said the facility would not qualify for funding from the council’s homelessness budget because it is an addiction treatment centre. She said Cork City Council had met the proposers to explain this.