Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed recent co-operation from Irish banks to act on vacant properties within their ownership.
In early November, Cllr. O’Shea wrote to the CEOs of three Irish financial institutions – AIB, Permanent TSB and Start Mortgages – seeking improved engagement with elected representatives and calling on them to act on vacant properties in their possession.
Cllr. O’Shea at the time expressed his frustration in communicating with banks on the subject of vacant properties and a perceived reluctance on their part to act on these properties, to bring them up to a liveable standard.
Since highlighting this issue and writing to the CEOs, Cllr. O’Shea said swift progress is being made on vacant houses in bank ownership in North Cork.
“Just in the last week since writing to the CEO’s of these financial institutions there has been movement on the vacant properties which I raised. One property owned by AIB, which has been vacant and derelict for more than nine years, has been put on the market for sale; another property I have been informed will be put on the market within the next three weeks.
“So, it is welcome that the banks are listening and are willing to move on their vacant properties, certainly it would have been better that these banks acted on their vacant properties sooner, but it is welcome all the same.
“Irish banks and mortgage companies are in possession of a huge number of vacant and derelict properties around the country; it is important that they do not unnecessarily hold onto these properties.
“Bringing these properties up to a liveable standard will increase the numbers of properties on the market at a time when there are housing shortages, and will also remove visual blights on our countryside.”