Lismore's Bank of Ireland building purchased by Waterford Council to accommodate refugees

Lismore's former Bank of Ireland building has been purchased by Waterford County Council for a figure reported to be around €290,000.

The 140-year-old building on West Street in the town is now to be transformed to temporarily accommodate 10 to 12 Ukrainian refugee families.

The bank was among 88 branches that were closed down by the bank in October last year.

Speaking to WLR News, local councillor John Pratt says it's a welcome move by the local authority:


"It's a great initiative and in fairness to Councillor Declan Doocey as well, it's something that he would have brought up - about bringing the bank back into use.

"I suppose, initially it was hoped that the bank could be almost gifted to the community, especially considering the issues we've had around banks in the past but look, that didn't happen.

"We have to look at it now in a positive light and with the situation with the Ukrainians, I think it can only be a very positive move."

Originally built between 1870 and 1880 as the home of the then National Bank, the two-storey structure underwent a lot of renovation work in the 1980s.


A single-storey coach house also still exists to the side of the building.

The Irish Examiner is reporting that the council were able to purchase the bank at the lower end of the market valuation.

Despite the pricetag, Councillor Pratt believes it will prove to have been a worthwhile purchase:

"It's not about undermining the €290,000 - it's a lot of money - but the positive effect that that will have now at this moment in time regarding the Ukrainians and their situation; bringing them into somewhere that would be suitable for their needs, is very important.

"Also, as I said, the fact that it can be brought into use and, who knows, maybe in time it can be made into apartments or something that can maybe be beneficial to the social housing list."

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