Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.

Noel Treacy


81 Mr. N. Treacy asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht the budget allocated, the expenditure arrived at and the detailed work programme which has been undertaken at a location (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9308/97]

Expenditure on the project referred to by the Deputy for the years 1994, 1995 and 1996 was £181,000, £198,000 and £340,000 respectively. An allocation of £300,000 has been made to continue with the conservation work in the present year.

The detailed works carried out from 1994-6 included the following: completion of the reroofing of the castle, reinstatement of some internal floors, carving and cutting of stone mullions for windows and decorative limestone chimneys, conversion-restoration of the Gothick Gate as a visitor reception building for access to the formal gardens and castle surrounds, detailed research into the archaeological-architectural and historical background of the project, and opening of ground floor exhibition to public.

In 1997 it is proposed to: provide public access to upper floors of the castle and extend the exhibition area, carry out works to present the 17th century courtyard buildings adjoining the castle and secure the 18th century complex, adapt the former forestry-estate accommodation on the site for Heritage Service conservation works purposes, commence reinstatement of the historic herb garden in association with a local community group, present and secure the historic features at the main entrance area and screen modern development, provide car-bus park adjacent to the courtyard complex, and carry out routine maintenance and ancillary service works which have been ongoing at the site i.e. provision of lighting, security and road resurfacing to both enhance the presentation of the historic landscape and secure the National Monument.