Plea for patience on former Kickham Barracks site in Clonmel

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

Kickham Barracks

A new Garda station, new campuses for LIT and the Tipperary Education and Training Board, and a civic plaza are planned for the former Kickham army barracks in Clonmel.

The redevelopment of the former Kickham Barracks site in Clonmel will happen but not overnight, it was stated at a recent meeting of Clonmel Borough District.

Town Manager Sinead Carr also asked people to have patience, when the matter was discussed at the council meeting.

Tipperary County Council purchased the eleven-acre site after the former army barracks was vacated by the Department of Defence in March 2012.

The county council has responsibility for the delivery of open spaces and public shared space and utilities, including the construction of a plaza. It also has responsibility for overall project management of land ownership, master planning, site clearance and preparation.  

Land bank areas to be transferred to other stakeholders were identified in July 2014. 

In this context it was agreed that a new Garda station would be built on the site. 

The Tipperary Education and Training Board (ETB) has plans to consolidate and deliver a purpose-built campus at Kickham Barracks.

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), which provides a number of business and speciality multi-media courses, proposes to develop a new campus within the site and provide more accommodation and room for expansion of their multi-media courses. 

Sinead Carr said she could understand the level of frustration with the delay, but because there were so many stakeholders involved they needed everybody to move together.

The public plaza would be built adjacent to the new Garda station, and she understood that progress was being made on the Garda station.

If there were significant delays with the new station the council could look at progressing the plaza - but the last thing they wanted was to have to start the plaza and then rip it up six months later. That was why they were trying to align both projects.   

They also needed to keep the complexities and constraints of the other stakeholders in mind.

The council had done as much as it could do, and a financial structure was needed to enable LIT and ETB to come up with their part of the arrangement.

Ms Carr said that the ETB and LIT were hugely committed to the site, but because they were prevented from raising loans that process needed to be worked out.

Cllr. Michael Murphy accepted there were challenges but people needed to see progress.

He knew the Manager was fully committed to the project, while Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan had seen for himself the incredibly challenging conditions under which the Gardai in Clonmel were working.

Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose welcomed the fact that Cllr. Murphy had received feedback from the Justice Minister about the Garda station. If the station got the go-ahead it would increase the pressure to have funding released to the ETB and LIT.