Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Questions (46)

Niamh Smyth


46. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if provision will be made to Monaghan County Council for the restoration of a building (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24332/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question 660 of 9 April and to your meeting with officials from my Department in the meantime.

The building referred to in question is owned by the local authority who are currently conducting an analysis of its structural integrity following damage to the roof and internal walls over the winter. A technical report is expected by the end of this month. Further decisions in relation to the future of the structure can only be made by the local authority when this technical assessment is completed. My role in relation the structure is mainly advisory and my officials remain available to advise the local authority in its efforts to manage the building and see it returned to a sustainable use that is consistent with its significant history and position in the town.

As proposed in the previous response, and noted earlier, I understand that officials from my Department met with the deputy on 8 May, along with interested parties from the area, to discuss the building itself as well as other potential funding sources, including funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development under a new pilot programme for the regeneration of town centres.

It also remains open to the Council to apply for funding under the next round of the Historic Towns Initiative, a joint undertaking between by Department and the Heritage Council to provide support to historic towns engaged in a programme of heritage-led regeneration. Or it may apply for funding under the Historic Structure Scheme, operated by my Department. Funding was previously awarded under this initiative in 2018 but was not ultimately taken up by the Council due to the scale of works required which were considered to need a larger intervention.