I welcome the move by Waterford City Council to enter the former Ard Rí Hotel Site on the derelict sites register. All fifteen city councillors have been pressing the council management for some time to deal with derelict sites in the city. The Ard Rí Hotel site was the most urgent given its strategic location and poor condition. The council set in train a process some time ago to deal with the site but the patience of the public was wearing thin. The former hotel has been badly vandalised and it cast a shadow over the city. I recently contacted the City Manager and urged him to make a full public statement on the matter to properly inform the public. I welcome his decision to do so.
I also welcome his commitment and that of the council to proceed with enforcement and if necessary carry out the remedial works. I am calling on the owner of the site to comply with any enforcement order and carry out the necessary work. Other site owners need to sit up and take notice and recognise that City Council will not tolerate derelict sites. I am confident that this instrument can and will be used again if other site owners do not get their house in order. I understand these are difficult times for property owners but the image of the city must come first. Dereliction simply cannot be tolerated. I offer my full support to the city manager in proceeding with this enforcement and if necessary carrying out the works. This will involve a cost to the council which will have to be recovered but we are left with no other option. We must put the image of the city first and I stand fully behind the manager in his efforts to deal with such derelict sites.