Ardee Municipal District cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue has issued an ultimatum to Louth County Council – either undertake necessary structural work to the Ardee Castle exterior or remove the perimeter fencing around it.
Boundary fencing was installed around the ancient townhouse last November – almost six months ago exactly – after reports were received of falling stones and debris from the exterior of the castle onto the footpath below.
Council workers cordoned off the entire castle almost immediately but while a council official surveyed the problem, it is understood that no more advanced structural tests have been undertaken to assess the extent of the problem
Now, Minogue says she wants answers – is there a danger to passing pedestrians due to failing to debris or not, and if so, when will structural work begin to rectify the problem.
“I have put in a request to Louth County Council asking for them to be removed or for work to start – one or the other,” she told ThisIsArdee.ie. “They’re sitting there six months. I put a request in at the time because people were complaining about debris falling and that was the solution.
“I want an answer to why they’re still there and nothing has been done. And if there is a plan, I want it shared with us. If a tourist stops us in the street, we don’t have an answer. It shows such little regard for Ardee. Even if we have it presentable looking, if nothing else.”
Initially, the barrier left a very narrow passage for pedestrians walking by the castle’s street facing front entrance but in the months since that part of the fencing has been pushed back. If this has been allowed by council officials, it suggests they feel the risk of further debris falling is minimal or non-existent as the fence in it’s current position offers little protection.
“They’re not serving a purpose, there’s no protection,” Mingoue added. “That’s the feeling of the majority of people I’ve spoken to in the town. The barrier isn’t serving a purpose. We need answers now. The town needs to be tidied up and it doesn’t look well.”