They say they believe the city council could get better value for money from the sale of the Lodge on Model Farm Rd, and the former Abode site on Skehard Rd.
They also criticised the fact that senior city officials who oversee such disposals, and the city’s law agent, were not at the meeting to answer specific questions about the proposed sales, and offer legal advice on the implications of various possible decisions. It follows the presentation of two reports at Monday’s council meeting in relation to the proposed disposals.
The 1860s-built Lodge was the former gate lodge of the former Munster Institute, known locally as the Model Farm, which became the first dairy institute in Ireland or Britain to teach female students. It has been in City Council ownership since 1984. While it is not a protected structure, it is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage but has been formally declared derelict.
It was offered for sale on the instructions of Cork City Council before Christmas, with an asking price of around €100,000. Its proposed disposal, for €78,000, to Jason O’Callaghan and Michael O’Mahony, care of a legal firm in Kinsale, came before council on Monday.
The former Abode site in Mahon lay idle for more than a decade after the charity moved to a new purpose-built facility nearby. The building was demolished last summer after it had become a magnet for serious anti-social activity, including drug taking. It was proposed to dispose of this site to a Michael Walsh, care of a legal firm in Bandon, for €83,700.
In both reports, it was stated that the sale prices represented the “best consideration reasonably obtainable on the basis of the highest offer received” as a result of the properties being placed for sale on the open market.
However, councillors queried the detail of the proposed sales; had questions about what would happen to the sites after the sales; and they expressed concerns about the sale prices.