Facilities at former army barracks in Longford and Mullingar are not suitable to house refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
That's the view from a former Brigadier General of the Defence Forces following the report of plans on the possible use of several decommissioned military sites currently under discussion by Government.
Ger Ahern has raised concerns about the current state of the buildings at Connolly Barracks in Longford and Columb Barracks in Mullingar, describing many of them as Victorian-era structures. While the sites are serviced by water and electricity supplies, the former senior army officer told the Joe Finnegan Show, that many of the buildings on site are derelict and in a poor state of repair.
The former commander of the 4th Western Brigade says the only realistic use of the land to house refugees would be the construction of modular homes on the parade grounds or training fields at the sites.
"These were actually Victorian-era buildings and were extremely expensive to maintain even when they were in occupation.
They haven't been occupied for ten years.
If they are going to explore this possibility I would suggest the only reality they could pursue is to build modular homes on the parade grounds within these barracks but to not use the buildings themselves, which are, I would say, are semi derelict at this stage."