Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD and Cllr Jim Finucane, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, officially launch 67 new homes in Castleisland, Co. Kerry 


Monday, 22 April, 2024, Castleisland, Co. Kerry – Focus Housing Association and Co-operative Housing Ireland welcomed Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, CIIr. Jim Finucane, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, and respected members of Castleisland Corca Dhuibhne’s Municipal District, to launch 67 new homes in Co. Kerry. These homes are being provided in collaboration between two Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) Co-operative Housing Ireland (CHI) and Focus Housing Association and its sister organisation Focus Ireland. The 67 homes at Riverside represent the first social housing development delivered in Co. Kerry by Focus Housing Association, and continued strong delivery in the county for CHI, which currently owns and manages 315 homes in Kerry, 250 of which have come under management in the last two years alone.  


Pat Dennigan, CEO of Focus Housing Association and Focus Ireland, said “The 67 homes delivered here today means that 67 more families and individuals are moving off Co. Kerry’s housing waiting list and will now have the most basic and fundamental need of their own roof over their head fulfilled, including some coming straight from homeless emergency accommodation and family hubs. This is Focus Housing Association’s and Co-operative Housing Ireland’s inaugural partnership, and we hope to continue to strengthen our relationship to deliver more social and affordable homes in response to acute rental accommodation shortages and housing supply. This important partnership between our two organisations is delivering permanent homes for families and individuals and the impact of this at a personal level should never be underestimated.’’  


CHI Chairperson, Pearse O’Shiel, said, “Aligned to Focus Housing Associations ethos, our aim is to provide much more than just a roof over your head. As a co-operative of co-operatives, community is at the core of everything we do. CHI’s national community, of which Riverside Member Tenants are a part, now spans 5,000 homes with more than 14,000 people across 24 counties.” 


Speaking at the launch, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, said, “2023 was a year of record social housing delivery with almost 12,000 new social homes delivered, a 16% increase on 2022. The work of Approved Housing Bodies, such as Focus Housing Association and Co-operative Housing Ireland, remains crucial to our strategy to meet our delivery targets in Housing for All. We want to celebrate innovative approaches such as the partnership between Focus Housing Association and Co-operative Housing Ireland here today.” 


Mr. Dennigan added, “I spoke to a mother today who has just moved into her new home in this fabulous development with her family and it is great to see her so happy. She told me that seeing her teenage daughter have a nice place to study for her Leaving Cert and a lovely home for her other daughter to return to from her studies away in Templemore Garda Training College, was the best thing that could have happened for her family, and she is incredibly proud of what she has achieved.” 


He added: “Speaking to this mother it really showed how having a place to call home means so much and really changes people’s lives. We are a caring and compassionate society that recognises everyone’s need for a safe and secure home; this is central to wellbeing and a decent quality of life and for people to have the opportunity to realise their full potential.” 

Meanwhile, Cllr Jim Finucane, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, said, “Riverside, and its blossoming community, are a testament to what co-operation can achieve. Kerry County Council is proud to have supported CHI and Focus Housing Association in delivering these high quality, a-rated homes to help meet housing needs. These 67 homes represent one of the largest developments of social and affordable housing delivered in Kerry in 2024 thus far.” 


Finally, proud Kerry woman Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, Founder & Life President of Focus Ireland, speaking on the occasion of the launch said: “This development and partnership work between

Co-operative Housing Ireland and Focus Housing Association is very special to me as it is helping people from my own native county, as well as helping to meet the growing housing challenges in rural areas needed to support more vulnerable people. Next year sees Focus Ireland established 40 years (1985) and sadly our work is needed now more than ever as there are record numbers of homeless and so many at risk. We will continue our work in partnership to help move towards a fairer housing system that works for everyone and ensure that everyone’s needs are met in the community.” 


Riverside comprises of 31 homes delivered by Focus Housing Association and 36 homes by  

Co-operative Housing Ireland. The homes were built and developed by Donald Lynch KPH Construction and designed by Meitheal Architects. Riverside was delivered with the support of Kerry County Council, the Department of Housing, and Local Government and Heritage, the Housing Finance Agency, and the Housing Agency.  


Further information: 

For further information or to request comment from Focus Ireland, please contact: 

Focus Housing Association:   

Ellen Gentry, Communications Officer | 086 2046567. 


Co-operative Housing Ireland: 

Amy Swearingen, Sr. Communications Specialist | 086 0656995.

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