Fianna Fáil General Election candidate, Mary Fitzpatrick has said that developing the O’Devaney Gardens site in Dublin 7, to its full potential will take more than opportunistic photo-ops and sod turning ceremonies.

Mary said, “O’Devaney Gardens has been lying idle for more than a decade and when the residents were removed to pave way for construction they were promised that they would be rehomed on the site in higher standard, more modern accommodation in a regenerated development.

“We had all hoped locally that we would see a building programme announced that meets the varied needs of our community. O’Devaney Gardens is a land bank with huge potential for meeting these needs.

“While it’s welcome that they have finally, after 10 years commenced the project, announcing the beginning of construction for 56 units on a 14 acre site is nowhere close to the development expected and needed.

“This is State owned land; it should be used for the benefit of the people and we simply cannot wait another 10 or more years for the site to be properly developed.

Today’s photo-op will come as a disappointment to the more than 7,000 people waiting for public housing in Dublin Central.

“Locals can’t help but wonder how many more announcements will be arranged on their doorstep before the State owned site is fully regenerated for their use.

“I call on the Government to get real with an accelerated plan to put the site to full productive use to address the chronic housing need,” she concluded.