The Ardee Traders & Business Association have written to Louth County Council on the subject of Ardee Castle – and the body of local businesses are determined to illicit some progress on proposed development work at the historic townhouse.
The Traders have recently established a sub-committee to spearhead their efforts in relation to finally turning the castle into an amenity that can draw tourism to the town. The doors to the castle remain closed and only Dundalk-based council officials have access to the building.
In December, organisers of the annual Christmas lights switch-on in the town were left to sweat until late in the day when a local authority official turned up to switch on the lights on the castle.
In 2015, Ardee Castle was included in Louth County Council’s draft budget for 2016 and an initial €200,000 was earmarked for the work. However, only some of that money has been spent to date on the design process and a total investment of €1.2 million that was committed to the project is not in the local authority kitty.
There is currently barrier fencing surrounding the building after reports of stones falling from the exterior late last year. To date no repair work has been undertaken on the castle.
Now, the Traders are taking to writing to Louth County Council chief executive Joan Martin themselves. The Ardee business association, chaired by Hughie O’Neill, has requested a meeting with Martin for an update on the situation and to discuss short-term and future plans.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie this week, John Rafferty of Ardee Historical Society also expressed his intention to put his case for the opening of Ardee Castle in writing to council officials.