Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that the ability of the Skibbereen Community and Resource Centre to provide services to the local community is being severely hampered by its lack of full time premises.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after being informed by the Centre’s management that over the past six months it has lost its two main buildings as a result of commercial decisions by the owners.
“At present, the centre has no permanent building, and is reliant on using a room in the Cork ETB building in the town. This has severely reduced its ability to provide services to the local community.
The Skibbereen Community and Resource Centre was established in 2012 and its catchment area includes the town of Skibbereen in addition to the villages of Leap, Drinagh, Baltimore, Ballydehob as well as the islands off the coast. Every week, when fully operational, 150 people walk through its door.
“The organisation has identified a suitable building on Main Street, Skibbereen from which to continue its full range of services. However, the building requires substantial renovations to the tune of €80,000.
“At present, while the HSE is supportive of funding these renovations, no commitment has been given that the funding will be made available.
“The commercial property sector is extremely competitive at present. If the organisation cannot sign a lease soon on this property, they may lose out.
“I have written to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Minister Katherine Zappone requesting her to intervene and ensure that the Centre is given the funding needed to complete the renovations in its new premises.
“In addition, I have requested a special debate in the Dáil next week to discuss this particular issue as well as the need for Tusla to accept the Skibbereen Centre into the national Family Resource Centre programme. At present, it is outside the remit of this programme, and is in a very precarious situation.
“We need action on these issues to allow the Centre continue its great work. I am hopeful that Minister Zappone will listen to their concerns, and intervene on their behalf,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.