Tánaiste Micheál Martin was present at the opening of nine new social housing apartments in the former school that was attended by Éamon de Valera.

The former President and Taoiseach attended the school on Main Street, Charleville, Co. Cork, between 1896 and 1898.

Remodelled in the 1920s and eventually closed in 1972, the building was delisted in 2014, and used by various community groups until it fell into a state of disrepair in more recent years.

The new social housing project has been delivered by homeless charity Peter McVerry Trust after the non-profit secured the project with the support of Cork County Council under the Department for Housing’s Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS).

The first tenants have already moved into their new homes and Centenary House, as the new scheme will now be known, will soon be fully occupied. The property comprises of seven one-bed apartments as well as a three-bed and a two-bed apartment for families, along with communal garden facilities developed for the enjoyment of tenants.

The old building had a BER rating of G, but all apartments have been upgraded to a high BER rating, B1 or A3, above the minimum standard for social housing units in Cork County. The new homes range from 44m² to 90m² in size.

At the opening of the new project, the Tánaiste said: “It is greatly encouraging to see a derelict building brought back into use for social homes, particularly one of such historic importance.

“The delivery of more one-bedroom homes is a crucial part of successfully delivering programmes such as Housing First and reducing the number of people impacted by homelessness in Ireland.”