Council lacks ambition for putting Columb Barracks site to use.

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has hit out at Westmeath County Council’s failure to put the Columb Barracks site in Mullingar to good use.
Deputy Troy made the comments after it was announced by Longford County Council that a new plan is set to be unveiled for Connolly Barracks in Longford town.
Deputy Troy said, “The announcement of a new plan for Connolly Barracks in Longford shows that it is possible to put in place a regeneration plan for former military facilities. Both Columb Barracks in Mullingar and Connolly Barracks in Longford are centrally located. There is huge potential to regenerate these sites and put them to good use for the local communities.
“The difference between the Local Authorities in Longford and Westmeath is that Longford took ownership and embraced it, sadly in Westmeath the Chief Executive refused to take the Department’s offer of ownership of the site as late as December. Therefore, no plan is in place for the long-term use of the site to benefit those in the locality.
“I believe there is huge potential to deliver residential accommodation for older people at the Columb Barracks site while also facilitating the numerous community groups who are operating there temporarily. 
“The Department has signalled its willingness to work with Westmeath County Council to recognise the value of the site by setting out a plan to regenerate it, but this is dependent on the local authority leading on the project. 
“The news that Connolly Barracks in Longford is set to be redeveloped demonstrates that it is possible to put Columb Barracks to good use. It’s time for Westmeath County Council to recognise that the site has much to offer the people of Mullingar,” concluded Deputy Troy.