Residents who are opposed to the opening of a housing scheme for alcoholics on the site of the Nazareth House in Bishop Street are expected to make their feelings heard at a public meeting on the proposal this evening.
Tonight’s meeting takes place at the Bishop Street Community Centre at 7:00pm. It’s understood representatives from Oaklee Trinity and Depaul Ireland will be there as well as local elected representatives and people who live in the area.
One angered resident who contacted the ‘Journal’ yesterday said the entire community were “disgusted and baffled” by the idea of locating the specialist unit in what’s widely considered one of the city’s most built up areas.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are schools here, there’s so much traffic congestion and there are so many young families in the area too. While these housing associations will say they’re responsible for health and safety on their premises, they can’t control what goes on when the people using these services are outside the housing scheme.
“One of the main issues we have is that this scheme isn’t necessarily a matter of housing local people, many people will be brought in from outside areas to use it. That seems to fly in the face of issues around our young people and stranger danger.”
The resident said she and many others feel let down by the Sisters of Nazareth.
“The Order say that they commit themselves to the community that they’re in but there isn’t much evidence of that in this area,” she said. “The Sisters of Nazareth have let this community down. The nursing home which operated here fitted in perfectly with the community and our city needs more nursing home beds. Why not let it continue like that. The location here is totally wrong for this housing scheme and people here are not willing to accept it.”
The local woman went on to say that the community must now rally together to oppose the development of the scheme at every stage.
“This is very simple. The people who live here have a right to stand up for the safety of everyone in the area. We have to stand up for the safety of our children. It’s very convenient to talk about this during the summer when the schools are off but if this plan goes ahead we have hundreds of school children in very close proximity to this development and to anyone with an ounce of sense that would be completely unacceptable. That’s what we intend to tell those behind the scheme at every opportunity.”