All Castlebar councillors, bar one, have recommended that Mayo County Council sell the old library in the town.
The building at Mountain View, which has been derelict for decades, was put on the market in July with a price tag of €250,000. It is now being sold to Mr Ward McEllin, Meenavale, Mountain View, Castlebar, for a sum of €260,000, subject to contract.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Al McDonnell suggested that the council sell the site because the roof contains asbestos, and it would cost €50,000 to rectify it. Cllr Blackie Gavin agreed and referenced the lack of parking on the site and that the council would be better off selling it and using the funds for other projects.
Cathaoirleach of Castlebar municipal district Cllr Michael Kilcoyne told the members that they were not allowed to make a ruling but could only make a recommendation. Mr McDonnell asked for a show of hands in support of selling it and all councillors raised their hands, apart from the cathaoirleach.
Mr Kilcoyne was strongly against selling the site, saying it could prove useful to the council, especially in the middle of a housing crisis, citing that there are people in the town sleeping in cars.
“We have an accommodation crisis and we are just selling this with no strings attached,” he said.
Cllr Ger Deere retorted by saying Mr Kilcoyne was very keen to sell it a few years ago. Mr Kilcoyne responded by saying that was before people were sleeping in cars or on the street.
There is a proposal to sell the site at November’s meeting of the county council.