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Office of Public Works Projects

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 31 May 2018

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Questions (75)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

75. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the plans the OPW has for the preservation and restoration of Bunadubber Mill, Neale, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24136/18]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

A Conservation and Management Plan is in place for Bunadober Mill National Monument, Co Mayo. The Plan recognises that, at a national level, the Mill is of considerable historic and cultural significance due to the survival of its waterwheels, machinery, artefacts and documentary records, together with the social history of several generations of the Moran family who operated the Mill.

The Office of Public Works has undertaken work at the site to conserve the buildings and their historic contents. This has involved the repair of buildings, recording of artefacts, and storing and the cataloguing objects that are in a vulnerable condition, while also keeping the grounds maintained and generally securing the site. Specialist advice has also been provided by external consultants in the areas of ecology, timber decay, industrial heritage and building preservation and this informs the conservation approach. Important tasks undertaken to date have included re-roofing, installation of new doors and windows, together with the challenging task of removing the millstones from their rotten timber frames and recording and dismantling key parts of the mill machinery.

The mill house garden and adjacent field are well-maintained, and recent works have been undertaken to remove silt and entrenched weed/organic matter from the mill pond and watercourse that had, over time, taken hold. At present, the external of the main buildings is in a reasonable condition, but several areas in both the mill and the cottage will require further attention before the building can be opened to visitors.

The key waterworks elements of the Mill still require significant intervention to restore the wheels to their former function. An archaeologist has completed an inventory and a scope of works for the repair of the wheel and a detailed structural engineering assessment is underway to fully understand the challenges involved in progressing further with these elements.

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