Concerns have been raised over the condition of Nenagh's former military barracks
Nenagh councillors have raised a number of concerns over derelict buildings in towns and villages in the municipal district council's area.
However, they were told that the legislation dealing with such sites was weak.
Among the buildings highlighted by Cllr Ger Darcy was an old mill in Cloughjordan, which he claimed, was in a “dangerous” condition.
“I am worried about it,” he sad. “People are afraid to walk on that side of the road.”
Cllr Darcy said that placing barriers around the building was not the solution as he doubted they would be of help “on a windy night when slates are going everywhere”.
Cllr Darcy was told that the council would need to engage a structural engineer to carry out a report on the building.
He was told its owner was in Australia and had committed to carrying out work on the premises. However, it could cost up to €20,000 just to place scaffolding around the structure.
Cllr Joe Hannigan maintained that the owner should be responsibile for any work carried out and not the council.
“A structural engineer costs a pretty penny,” he said.
Cllr Darcy said he didn't want to put extra cost on the council, but “it is absolutely dangerous”.
Cllr Seamus Morris highlighted the condition of the former military barracks at Summerhill in Nenagh.
“It will fall sometime,” he said, calling on the council to issue a Derelict Site notice for the building.
Cllr Morris recalled that the former Nenagh Town Council had been told by an expert that the barracks had a time span of 10 years in which to have work on it to save the building.
“That was 12 years ago, so it should fall any day,” he said. “It is easy enough to get in there. We will be looking at a tragedy.”
He was supported by Cllr Hughie McGrath, who said everybody agreed the military barracks was an asset to the town. Support for work at the barracks also came from Cllr John Carroll, Cathaoirleach of Nenagh MDC, and Cllr Joe Hannigan.
However, council officials replied that legislation on derelict sites was “very weak”.
“We can just keep hounding the owners, but very often the reason a building is derelict is because these people are in trouble themselves,” they were told.
The councillors were further told that dangerous buildings came under a different Act to derelict sites and in some cases, the council may have to aquire the buildings through compulsory purchase in order to carry out work on them.