Ex-Fine Gael minister lobbies Government on behalf of British firm’s modular homes plan

Paudie Coffey’s Pinnacle Public Affairs contacts Government over plans to build 20 modular homes in Cork

A British modular building construction company has lobbied the Government to provide refugee accommodation near Cork airport.

Stelling Properties Ltd has wants to provide 20 modular homes on a private site at Cork Airport Hotel that could offer housing for 60 Ukrainian refugees.

The lobbying was carried out by Pinnacle Public Affairs, a consultancy firm set up by former Fine Gael Minister of State Paudie Coffey and Paul Fox, a former adviser to Minister Helen McEntee.

It involved emails or phone calls in late 2022 to then-Taoiseach Micheál Martin, former Tánaiste Leo Varadkar – and some of their senior advisers – as well as Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.


The Government is under pressure to provide accommodation for tens of thousands of refugees from Ukraine as well as for asylum seekers from other countries.

There are plans for the Office of Public Works (OPW) to deliver 700 modular homes for refugees around the country.

The Government offered no indication of the status of the proposal from Winchester-based Stelling Properties.

A statement said: “The OPW is on track to deliver the first tranche of 200 Rapid Build Homes in early 2023 to provide accommodation to approximately 800 Ukrainians.

“Development of sites at locations in Cavan Town, Mahon in Cork, Thurles, Sligo and Claremorris are currently under way.

“A further tranche of sites for the installation of the balance of the homes is being finalised.

“Stelling Properties are not involved in the programme of rapid build modular homes.”

Stelling Properties did not offer any details as to how much its modular homes proposal for Cork Airport Hotel would cost the State.

A spokesperson said: “Over the last number of weeks, we have engaged several Government agencies and departments in order to progress this modular accommodation solution.

“As the proposal is still under consideration, we will not be making any further comment in relation to this matter and we await hearing from the Government.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times