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A number of HSE-owned buildings have been left unoccupied for over two decades

Gate Lodge at Castleknock Health Centre, Dublin, has been vacant for more than 20 years, while Woodville House, Coolock, Dublin, has also been unused for more than two decades, data from the HSE property database reveals.

Information collated in early 2018 shows that HSE-owned lands at Jamestown, Ratoath, Co Meath,  have been lying idle since 2001.

An uninhabitable health centre in Pettigo, Donegal, has been vacant since “circa 2000”, according to the HSE.

It is not known how long all vacant buildings and lands have been unused, as the HSE was unable to provide this information.

In 2018, the HSE had 111 vacant properties and 26 pieces of land unused nationally, while a 2016 report of vacant buildings, buildings temporarily not in use, retained assets and retained lands found 198 locations were lying idle.

A number of buildings are in need of major refurbishment, while others have been put up for sale.

The value of HSE properties sold in 2016 was €3.3 million. In 2017, this was €2.6 million.

The value of building and land sales varied, with one building sold for just €6,800 in 2017, while lands in Waterford were sold for €1,800 the same year.

The sale of St Senan’s Psychiatric Hospital, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, amounted to €771,000 and lands at the site were sold for more than €500,000 in 2017.

The HSE said it does not know the total value of vacant lands and buildings under its ownership, as valuations are only undertaken when a decision is made to put them on the market.

According to the HSE, its estate consists of more than 4,000 buildings nationally in over 1,500 locations. About 900 of these buildings are leased.

Several buildings include small health centres no longer in use due to moves to larger, newer primary care centres, according to the HSE.

The Government’s mental health strategy has also resulted in the relocation of residents in institutions to other “more appropriate settings in the community”, the HSE said.

“The resulting large empty buildings are either being renovated and used for other community health services (Letterkenny and Kilkenny, for example) or are mothballed and are being put on the market (Enniscorthy, Ballinasloe or St Fintan’s, Killarney, for example),” the HSE said.

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