*Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien (FF) cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of An Cosán Gheal. Photograph: Tom Micks

MINISTER FOR HOUSING, Darragh O’Brien (FF) was on hand to officially open Inis Housing Association’s latest development, An Cosán Gheal, in Ennis.

Residents of the 18 ‘A2’ rated social homes first moved in back in November of last year which is situated within The Hawthorns estate on the Limerick Rd in Ennis. Among the new residents is Amanda Major who contested the 2019 local elections as an Independent candidate and unsuccessfully attempted to get a nomination from Fianna Fáil for this year’s local elections.

Ennis based Gildoc Ltd were the main contractors for the construction of the properties which were designed by Hassett, Leyden and Associates.

Addressing the official opening, Emer Watson, CEO of Inis Housing Assocation stated that it was her “utmost pleasure and privilege to stand here today as we gather to celebrate our newest housing estate”. An Cosán Gheal formed part of their “commitment to quality housing, this estate has offered sanctuary and security to families”.

Reaching the official opening was described by Emer as a journey “of perseverance”. The East Clare woman said, “the true significance of what we have accomplishment is the heart and soul from its residents, each and every person who calls it home”.

She continued, “our work does not end with the completion of construction, it is only beginning”. A commitment to further investment in its infrastructure was given by Emer.

Inis Housing Association is a tier two approved housing body which is headquartered in Mountshannon. Emer said its board made a “strategic decision in 2020 to focus on the Clare area, we now have approximately 90 properties which are called home by over 220 residents, over the last three to four years we have nearly doubled our properties”.

Trudy Kay who chairs the board of Inis Housing Association stated “this housing estate represents far more than a collection of buildings”.

Addressing the gathering, the Minister for Housing stressed that the State was “right back in the middle of providing homes”. He stated, “it is not my first time in Clare and it won’t be my last, there has been a 74% increase in housing across all tenures”.

“We have 609 new social homes in Clare and we’ll add a lot more,” Minister O’Brien added. “Progress and momentum is building, we’ve exceeded our targets,” the Dublin Fingal TD said while praising Clare County Council.

On more than one occasion, the Minister made the mistake confusing the Council’s Chief Executive Pat Dowling with Pat Daly, whether the Daly he was referring to was the Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District or the Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council is unclear.

A whole heap of politicians were present for the official opening. They included Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF), Senator Timmy Dooley (FF), Senator Roisin Garvey (GP), Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG), Mayor of the Ennis MD, Cllr Pat Daly (FF), Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF), Cllr Ann Norton (IND), Cllr Tom O’Callaghan (FF), Cllr Mary Howard (FG), Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) and local election candidate Antoinette Bashua Baker (FF).

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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