Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon recently welcomed Housing Minister Simon Coveney to Athy to get an update on progress of the re-development of the site of the former Dominicans in Athy.

“I was delighted that the Minister for Housing Simon Coveney accepted my invitation to visit the site to see and hear at first hand the work that is ongoing and planned.  The site was acquired by Kildare County Council and the Department of Environment in 2015 for €1.39m.

“Minister Coveney was given a tour of the site by senior officials from Kildare County Council and was briefed on progress to date.  Plans are at an advanced stage to convert the former priory into 8 family housing units which will be managed by the Peter McVerry Trust to directly alleviate homelessness.  Representatives from Peter McVerry was also on site to meet the Minister and discuss ongoing plans which I hope to have the units ready by the end of the year.

“Minister Coveney also visited the church and received an update from County Librarian Marian Higgins on plans to convert the building into a new library for the town.

“The plans for this site are exciting for the town of Athy.  It is envisaged that up to €8m will be invested in developing the site over the next decade with plans to convert the church into a library and build additional housing on the site.  There is also potential to develop an “interpretative centre” for the planned Barrow Blue Way and consider how the many Water sports activities and clubs in Athy can also be catered for on the site.”