Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Questions (179)

Jackie Cahill


179. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the OPW can provide the finance for the external night time lighting of Nenagh Castle in order that the recent investment at the historical site can benefit tourism in the town to its full potential; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48786/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Floodlighting is generally not actively encouraged at National Monuments sites from an ecological/energy consumption/light pollution point of view.  In particular, there are swifts and bats in residence at Nenagh Castle and, as excessive artificial light can impact on these populations, it may be difficult to design a sustainable solution which does not affect them.  In addition, because of the constraints on resources needed for conservation works elsewhere, OPW is not in a position to finance the floodlighting of the Castle.   

Notwithstanding the above, the Deputy may wish to note that OPW has engaged with Tipperary County Council this year with a view to developing a number of offerings in Nenagh with the intent of enhancing the visitor experience and Nenagh Castle will form an important part of the town's heritage visitor assets in this regard.  While, as I have said, OPW is not in a position to go ahead with floodlighting of the Castle in the immediate term, we will be happy to continue to engage with both the Local Authority and local community groups in order to maximise the visitor potential of the Castle.