Skiddy's Almshouse in Cork is named after Stephen Skiddy, a wealthy Cork-born wine merchant who set up a charity to care for the elderly poor in Cork City. The charity began in 1584 and construction of the almshouse was completed in 1719.
In the 1960s the charity moved to a new premises and the trustees sold the original building to the North Infirmary Hospital. The North Infirmary's Hospital Board now plan to demolish the almshouse and replace it with accommodation for staff. This proposed demolition has caused great controversy and is rigidly opposed by the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society
Bill O'Herlihy talks to Charles McCarthy, President of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society about why the building should be preserved. McCarthy says Cork has kept very few historical buildings and the people of Cork are not always aware of the historical value of buildings.
I think in Cork there's a great love of the city, but sometimes it is not directed to the right way.
Gus Healy of the Hospital Board believes in this instance, progress is more important than preservation. The Sisters of Charity came to Cork in 1867 and accommodation facilities for hospital staff have not changed since then. Nuns and nurses are now living in conditions far worse than those living in Skiddy's Almshouse. Attempts to incorporate the original building into the new structure have proved futile.
It is no pleasure for us it has to be this particular site, but as I say it is completely impossible for us, we have failed for the last thirty years to get anywhere else.
A ‘Newsbeat’ report by Bill O'Herlihy broadcast on 4 May 1966.