Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (91)

Trevor Sargent

Question:

86 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on progress on the Oldbridge Estate and Battle of the Boyne site project, and plans for its future development and usage, including landscape changes and facilities; and the organisations or groups involved following the commitment to consult closely with representatives of the Unionist tradition, local authorities and community groups. [7312/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

Presentation of the site of the Battle of the Boyne is centred around the former Oldbridge Estate that comprises extensive grounds, the large 18th century Oldbridge House and adjoining outbuildings, walled garden, farm buildings and gate lodge. Some 100 acres of the property have already been developed and opened to the public to mark the core of the historic battle site. Guided tours are available from May to September and by prior arrangement outside the period.

Developments to date include: a series of interpretative panels marking strategic battle locations; a replica 17th century cannon and military equipment; 3.5 km of scenic walkways with interpretative markers; improved land management and public accessibility; initial improvements to adjacent public roads and further plans for major roadworks from Donore village; stabilisation, weather proofing and security works to the main house; and archaeological, planning and related studies. Consideration will be given to further improvements as resources permit.

In response to public advertisements, submissions were made and consultations held with many interests North and South, including groups and local authorities.