Friday, 12 January 2007

Nenagh castle restoration project delayed by archaeology

Peter Gleeson in The Irish Indo' had this story:

AN archaeological find claimed to be of "huge historical significance" has postponed a Government investment of €3m to restore Nenagh Castle.
The find is believed to include a curtain wall of the 13th century castle and the ruins of a medieval manor house. Archaeologists want to access the exact significance of the site before any further development on the site.
The Office of Public Works has failed to seek planning permission from Nenagh Town Council to carry out extensive restoration works on the site, despite publishing a notice in the local press last October stating that it was going to do so.
A spokesman for the Office of Public Works stated that the submission of the planning application had been postponed after it was decided to conduct more extensive preliminary archaeological test digs.
He said the submission of a planning application for the restoration and improvement works would probably be delayed by several months to allow for further investigation.
"It gives us an opportunity to do more detailed archaeological excavations of the site to see exactly what is there. It should not affect the overall project," said the spokesman.
The Chairman of the Nenagh Tourism and Marketing Group, Stephen Slattery said he had been led to believe from talking to officials on the project that something of significant archaeological merit could yet be uncovered.
'"We have already waited 12 years for this and if we have to wait another three to six months I think that it‘s great if it avoids destroying 800 years of history."
Local Fianna Fail TD Deputy Maire Hoctor said she had been assured by Environment Minister Dick Roche that the €3m announced for the project last July is secure and will be spent on the visitors' centre project.

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