Doubts have again been raised over whether or not the proposed visitor centre at Nenagh Castle will be built following reports that funding for the project is to cease in the next few months under the Government’s capital spending review.
Nenagh castle project has been the subject of such rumours since as far back as 2009 when, even then, the Office of Public Works, which is carrying out the work, was not in a position to say when the work would eventually be finished.
The OPW told the Tipperary Star this week that the project was being funded under the National Development Plan and that funding was in place until the end of 2011.
“An application will be made under NDP for funding to continue the project into 2012,” a statement from the OPW said.
The State agency said that masonry conservation was in progress both internally and externally and was over two-thirds complete. Protective rails are in position in the 24 openings at roof level, and a canopy and rail at the staircase onto the roof has been installed. New stone windows are complete; timber sashes are fabricated and three of the four have been glazed.
“Design and specification of the mechanical and electrical installations are being drawn up and are almost complete. These will be designed to accommodate any future provision of visitor facilities on the site. The houses at 35 and 36 Pearse Street form part of the project. A tourist office has opened in 36 Pearse Street,” said the statement.
A spokesperson for Nenagh Town Council told the Star that, while they weren’t aware of any funding difficulties, they “expected the work to continue into 2012”.
The official said that they hoped the work had progressed so far that it would make sense to continue with it.
“We all want to see that. We all want to see it continue,” they said.
Earlier this year, the Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Brian Hayes, told Deputy Noel Coonan and members of Nenagh Ormond Historical Society that conservation works on Nenagh Castle keep will be completed this September.
“It is envisioned that the keep will be open to visitors next year,” said Deputy Hayes at the time.