Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said the former John Player cigarette site in Dublin 8 is a city development of crucial importance and must not be sold on the open market.

Senator Ardagh said, “There is the potential to build more than 600 social and affordable homes on this site that happens to be in one of the most adversely affected areas by the housing crisis in recent years.

“People are desperate for homes in our area but the market is so volatile that they simple cannot afford to rent let alone buy. The severe housing shortages are driving people to despair.

“The South Circular Road site is prime, strategic land with enormous potential to alleviate the city’s crisis in housing. It would be an appalling decision and an utter failure of State to allow the sale of this site to go ahead without intervention.

“The focus should not be on maximising the value of this site; its worth goes beyond capital.

“The development of this site can positively impact the market rate in the South Inner City and should be therefore fully utilised to deliver the mixed housing needs of so many,” concluded Senator Ardagh.