Former Clonmel Friary to house Ukrainian families.

Photo © Tipp FM

Work is said to be underway on the residential part of the historical building so it can be used to accommodate those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Councillor Pat English welcomes the news that the building will have new life, which will keep it from falling into dereliction, and reveals that plans have not yet been made for the church part of the Friary.

He says it’s only right that the town does its part for refugees.

“We, as a town, have to take our share of refugees from Ukraine. Those people are going through a terrible time in that country, and there doesn’t seem to be any end to it.”

However, questions have been raised as to why local homeless people are not being housed in the former Clonmel Friary.

Councillor Pat English, who volunteers at the soup kitchen nearby, says he has seen new faces come on stream and that the homeless problem persists.

He says he believes the fault lies with the governments of the last 25 years for ignoring the issue.

Addressing the question on Tipp Today earlier, the Independent councillor says the council is playing catch-up to improve the issue in their local areas.

“It’s the old thing of divide and conquer; two wrongs don’t make a right. It has been terrible that families have been left on waiting lists for numerous years and that the government has gone on record just privatising all the housing systems in this county. It’s coming back to bite them now, where houses are being sold and people are being left homeless. The only resolution, and we’ve been saying it for years, is that the council get back to what they were very good at and start building houses again. This is happening at the moment, but there’s a major catch-up; we’re years behind.”