Council officials confirmed yesterday that they had written to the Respond Housing Association, which uses the former convent, informing it that the building isn’t safe and despite being a listed structure it cannot be made safe at a reasonable cost.
The council has ordered that the building be demolished within a month and that Respond must also take measures to protect the nearby national school until the work is complete.
The council said that statutory notices will be issued to Respond and the Presentation Order.
Cllr Noel Buckley (FG) and Cllr Maria Murphy (FF) both welcomed the news. Cllr Buckley read out several letters from concerned organisations in Millstreet, including one from the board of management at the adjoining primary school.
It said that on windy days slates are flying off the old building, which was vacated by the Presentation Order in 1999, and are crashing into the school yard.
The letter went on to add that “large portions of bricks and mortar also collapse into our yard. We urgently appeal to the county council to knock the old Presentation Convent in the interest of the health and safety of the pupils, parents and teachers.”
Local priests also wrote a letter urging that the convent be de-listed and knocked.
“It’s an eyesore. It is dangerous and can’t be restored,” Cllr Buckley said.
The move is also been supported by the Millstreet Parish Church Restoration Fund Committee. A spokesman for the organisation said that dry rot had spread from the convent to the church. Locals are currently in the process of raising €2 million to restore the church.