THE NATIONAL school in Lisavaird, Co Cork, attended by Michael Collins has been saved from demolition as a result of an appeal by An Taisce against plans to replace it with a petrol station and three houses.
An Bord Pleanála, ruling on the appeal against a decision by Cork County Council to approve the scheme, said it considered that the school building was “of special historical interest and significance”.
It said: “The demolition of the remaining structure of Lisavaird national school where Michael Collins, a principal figure in the Irish War of Independence, attended school . . . has not been justified.”
Furthermore, the appeals board ruled that the proposed demolition would be contrary to a policy of the Cork county plan, which recognises the importance to heritage sites not included in the Record of Protected Structures.
Welcoming the ruling, An Taisce’s Ian Lumley said: “As the centenary of the 1916 Rising to 1922-1923 Civil War approaches, there will be a significantly increased focus on the locations associated with major events and figures of this period.”
He also welcomed another decision by An Bord Pleanála to overrule Louth County Council’s approval for plans to demolish the 19th-century Drummullagh House in Omeath, to make way for a 122-bedroom hotel with function rooms.
The board ruled that the proposed development, overlooking Carlingford Lough, would form “an obtrusive and visually discordant feature” within an area of high scenic amenity, “highly visible in views from within Co Louth and from Co Down”.
Mr Lumley said An Taisce considered the board’s decision “particularly significant because it refers to the impact of the proposed Co Louth development across Carlingford Lough to views within Co Down – ie, ‘transboundary impacts in another jurisdiction.”
He also noted that the Irish Hotels Federation had published a report suggesting there was now an oversupply of 15,000 hotel bedrooms nationally, “so the refusal of the Omeath proposal does not represent a current employment loss”.
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