It was with great sadness that The BRISTOLIAN heard last week about the passing of Martin Connolly, former owner of Bristol’s CONNOLLY & CALLAGHAN property speculators – or “a family-run property business, creating homes that make a difference to people’s lives” as their online spin-waffle goes.

We are told he died of a heart attack, no doubt brought about by the sheer volume of cash being emptied into his bank account by Bristol City Council’s “strategic directors” for all the neoliberal landleeching that C&C is doing for it. Surely The Reverend Mayor could have been more considerate to the health of BCC’s favourite outsourced “emergency housing provider”, and avoided the shock that such a vast increase in his profit margins would cause him?

The BRISTOLIAN would like to remind readers of some of the qualities and contributions Mr Connolly brought to us in his long and illustrious career. Where does one start? Is it in the rip-off prices and spurious service charges he charged and his “family run-business” CONTINUES to charge BCC to house the homeless?

Is it the mothers evicted from C&C properties at Carpenters Place, Knowle West, in 2016? Is it the financial collapse of the “charity” he funded called Bristol Housing Foundation (BFH) in 2013? Or is it the ongoing sale of community space at Hamilton House on Stokes Croft by C&C to build luxury apartments?

“But we don’t stop there”, as the marketspeak on the C&C website attests, so perhaps the crowning achievement of Mr Connolly’s “strong social ethos” and will to “provide shelter for the vulnerable” had to be that North Street homeless hostel in 2016 where the basement was running with raw sewage, the bedrooms overrun with vermin, where exposed electric cables dangled, and holes in the outside wall were so big you could stick your arm through. Now that’s what you call really making a difference to people’s lives.

DISCLAIMER: In case of confusion we must establish that, despite his name, Martin Connolly bears NO relation whatsoever to James Connolly, the revolutionary socialist, trades unionist, syndicalist and Irish freedom fighter murdered by the British army in Dublin, 1916.


  1. David Seaton

    This is disgusting. We worked for Martin connolly for 14 years running a hostel in Chesterfield. In that time we took hundreds of people of the street and helped them back into independent living. They came from all walks of life some with mental health problems. Some with alcohol problems. Some with drug problems. All were given fully furnished rooms and the use of a very smart communal area with free tea and coffee. Pool table. Dart board. TV lounge. Chesterfield Council. Derbyshire probation service. Hartington Wing.nottingham prison. We’re all our users and spoke highly of the service provided. Many of them wouldn’t have survived on the street or any were to go. So I take issue with these remarks.

  2. Cotham Cider


    “In that time we took hundreds of people of the street and helped them back into independent living”

    You make it sound like this was done for free but I assume

    “Chesterfield Council. Derbyshire probation service. Hartington Wing.nottingham prison”

    were paying the going rate for accommodation? In short its a business

  3. John Beegood

    Martin Connolly was a much loved man. I’m guessing the person who wrote this hatred never actually met him. Martin was a self made successful business man. He wasn’t born into money but worked hard and was successful. He could have just bought a yacht and lived a very comfortable life, but he wanted to do things differently. Through his housing projects he helped hundreds, possibly thousands of people. He was the inspiration and provided the funding for the success that is hamilton house, the centre piece of stokes croft. He was no saint (and would have laughed at the very thought), but he tried to make a sincere difference. Sometimes he got things wrong but very often he got things right, very right. He was a good, kind and very much loved person who achieved more on one lifetime than most of us could in 10. I can’t imagine how much hate it takes to write stuff like this, the author has my full sympathy. Maybe instead of spreading this hatred, you could try and do something positive, make a good difference to someone? The ironic thing is, if martin had ever met you, he would probably been very kind to you.

  4. Jeremy Batchelor

    Totally agree with the last comment , you obviously never knew the guy and what he was about and it was not just about him making money . It was an honour knowing the guy , and he made a difference in a lot of peoples lives ,,, but unfortunately you will never realise this .


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