Councillor Tom Wood has welcomed confirmation from Minister of State, Brian Hayes TD. that the scaffolding currently in position at the Rock of Cashel and erected to provide access and cover for the conservation works at Cormacs Chapel is expected to be removed during 2014.
Following correspondence with the Minister, who has special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Councillor Wood was informed that the work is on course with that set out in 2009 when it was then estimated as a four to five year project.
In his letter the Minister states, “Following the erection of the scaffolding and temporary cover, Cormacs Chapel has been slowly drying out. Environmental monitoring has been taking place and is linked to an intelligent ventilation system. Since the Chapel was enclosed, the internal environment has stabilised although it is not yet completely dry. However, monitoring of the wall paintings is also being carried out at regular intervals. Work is in progress on the re-roofing of the south tower following the removal of a degraded concrete roof.
Councillor Wood notes from the letter that the completion of the conservation of the Cathedral, particularly the south chancel wall will follow works on Cormacs Chapel. The masonry conservation to some areas of the Cathedral cannot be completed until the present scaffolding is removed but this element of the work will be of a relatively short duration and could be complete within months.
Anxious that scaffolding would not be visible on the Rock indefinitely, as had happened during previous conservation projects, Councillor Wood had corresponded with Minister of State, Brian Hayes last September seeking an update on progress.