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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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'The sense of relief is immense': Homes of 30 vulnerable men saved in Greystones

The men, recovering from alcohol or drug addictions, had been facing homelessness.

Phil Thompson CEO with residents Gavin Uzell, Matin Considine, Nigel Nash Phil Thompson, Tiglin CEO (left), with Carraig Eden residents Gavin Uzell, Martin Considine and Nigel Nash Source: Paul Byrne, Greystones Guide

THE HOMES OF 30 men recovering from alcohol or drug addictions have been secured through the sale of a building in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Carraig Eden was sold for €2 million, less than the asking price of €2.2 million.

The sale between Irish Assemblies of God (IAOG, a religious order also known as Christian Churches Ireland), which owns the property, and Wicklow County Council (WCC) and the Department of Housing will allow Tiglin to continue providing housing and support for the men.

Phil Thompson, Tiglin CEO, said the homes of the 30 men living there had been “in jeopardy over the last few months because the building was up for sale”.

“Tiglin first tried to purchase the property over two years ago but, due to an increase in the purchase price, were unable to secure the necessary funds. Needless to say, we are really delighted to have finally reached a deal,” Thompson said.

Carraig Eden is home to 30 men who have completed a rehabilitation programme in Tiglin, Ashford, Co Wicklow. The housing gives them the opportunity to find work and educational opportunities in a safe and sober environment. The men pay €75 a week in rent.

Tiglin, which has been offering services at the property since 2010, had been renting rooms from the IAOG.

Yvonne Hyland of Tiglin noted that the situation has been ongoing for about two-and-a-half years. The sale of the property was reported by the Irish Times in May.

In February, WCC received approval from the Department of Housing to buy and refurbish the building – a €3 million agreement in which the State would pay €1.6 million.

Hyland told TheJournal.ie Tiglin offered to buy the building for €1.7 million and later €1.9 million, but IAOG also received an offer of €3 million from a developer.

She said the €2 million offer was finally accepted last week, after the higher bid from the developer fell through. Local TDs Simon Harris and Stephen Donnelly, who both helped facilitate negotiations around the deal, have welcomed the news.

harris Source: Facebook

Hyland said residents are “delighted”, adding that Carraig Eden wouldn’t be “an easy building to replace”.

“Greystones is great, it has transport into town and doesn’t have a big nightlife. The community there really support it.” The building is also used by a number of other organisations including a church and a Montessori group.

‘Immense relief’

Aubrey McCarthy, Tiglin’s chairperson, said: “The sense of relief for the residents is immense, Carraig Eden is such a lifeline to these men. The residents have got what they truly deserve, a home and and fresh start.”

McCarthy added that the people who run Tiglin are looking forward to “seeing this service continue and grow in Carraig Eden”, and thanked the public for their “wonderful support” over the last year.

John, a resident of Carraig Eden, said: “I feel so relieved that a deal has been reached, now I don’t face eviction and uncertainty, I have a home and stability. This means the world to me and all the residents at Carraig Eden. I would like to thank everyone who helped make this possible.”

Tiglin provides services for women at a separate facility.

Councillor John Snell, who chairs WCC’s Housing and Corporate Estate Strategic Policy Committee, also welcomed the news.

“The purchase of this property will allow Wicklow County Council to continue to work with Tiglin to ensure that the long-term needs of the facility’s residents will be addressed by their progression into sustainable, long-term tenancies via the various social housing supports available.

A strong referral pathway has been created between Wicklow County Council and Tiglin and this collaborative approach has provided an end to homelessness for a cohort that is largely unreached.

Bryan Doyle, WCC Chief Executive, thanked Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy for authorising increased funding to secure the deal, and the vendor for accepting a below market value figure of €2 million “to ensure the work of Tiglin could continue”.

“Wicklow County Council will now purchase and further develop the property to facilitate the current and future residents and to provide other accommodation to combat homelessness”, Doyle added.

IAOG did not respond to a request for comment.

Read: A changing promise: The Government said it would get families in hotels out of homelessness, but now it’s putting them into hubs

Read: The average person in alcohol treatment in Ireland is 41, male and started drinking at 16

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Órla Ryan

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