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Westgate House to be in council possession by year end, Minister says

Westgate House
A view of Westgate House, narrow West Street in Drogheda. Photo Credit: Google Maps.

Westgate House in Drogheda should be in the possession of Louth County Council by the end of the year. The building could be set to be repurposed as a public amenity or social housing by the local authority.

In a reply to a parliamentary question posed by Fine Gael TD for Louth Fergus O’Dowd, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform confirmed earlier this week that that the building is currently in the ownership of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland.

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However, he said that the property has been identified as a ‘surplus State property’ and that the Department are currently in the process of transferring it to Louth County Council, in line with the OPW’s disposal policy.

That transfer has been in the works since last year, when it was revealed that the OPW would likely transfer ownership to the council.

The Minister has now confirmed that the transfer is likely to be completed by the end of this year. He said the long term plans for the property were “a matter for the council.”

The exterior of the prominent former Bed & Breakfast building was painted by Louth County Council before the fist Fleadh Cheoil in the town in 2018. However, that exterior improvement has been the only work carried out on the derelict building.

It was confirmed in July that the local authority were to turn the adjoining old Drogheda Youth Development Building on Narrow West Street into a Digital Innovation Hub.

Less than two weeks ago, Louth County Council Chief Executive Joan Martin confirmed that they are closing in on the purchase of the Dominican Church on Dominic Street in Drogheda, with the intention of using it as a public building.

Ms Martin said the church, and the adjacent former priests house will be bought by the local authority with a view to using it as housing or as a library.

Westgate House was built circa 1790. It is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

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