After 26 years in limbo, Our Lady’s Hospital in Ennis has been bought and could soon be transformed into a landmark development for the county town.
The 16.6 acre Gort Road property has been purchased for €750,000 but the identity of the buyer has not yet been confirmed.
JJ Enterprises Ltd lodged an application with Clare County Council in January to extend the validity of a planning permission granted in February of 2013 to develop the site as a medical facility.
Documents lodged as part of this application were signed by a Mr JJ McCabe on January 26. In these documents Mr McCabe described himself as the ‘perspective purchaser’ of the site.
The Clare People attempted to contact well known Ennis businessman, JJ McCabe, but were unable to confirm any connection between the former General Election candidate and the purchase of Our Lady’s at the time of going to press this week.
The landmark property was offered with a reserve of €475,000 – a small fraction of what it has been valued at in recent years – but the price quickly rose to €750,000 after a bidding war erupted between two people.
The former asylum had been valued at €1.25 million until November of last year when the asking price was reduced to €800,000.
It failed to raised a single bid when it went under the hammer at this price late last year.
Clare County Council had been urged to purchase the site by a number of people in recent months, including Cllr James Breen (IND) who suggested it should be turned into social housing.
Speaking to The Clare People, Cllr Breen, said he was delighted that the site had been purchased and that he hoped it would now become a major resource for the county town.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - http://fightingtalknow.blogspot.ie/ Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on ahamilton@clarepeople.ie

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