Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

Enda Kenny

Ceist:

148 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will authorise an architectural analysis of Moorehall, Carnacon, Claremorris, County Mayo in view of its historic importance; if she will consider proposals to have the building restored; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10319/00]

At the outset I must point out that the property at Moorehall is in the ownership of Coillte Teoranta rather than my Department and as such its upkeep and future use is a matter in the first instance for that organisation. Having said that I am fully aware of the continuing commitment of the local community to the project and to the fact that Mayo County Council also remains firm in its support. In this regard, I would like to record my admiration for all the work which has been carried out locally to bring the project to the stage it is at presently.

However, there are a number of issues concerning Moorehall which need to be studied before the project could be advanced further by any of the aforementioned organisations. To this end I have made funding available to enable a survey of the ruin to be undertaken and to assess the cost of consolidation and of complete replication. At the same time as this survey is being undertaken it is essential that the local community commence the process of the preparation of a full business plan for the project. Only when the survey and business plan are complete could the possibility of further State involvement in the project be considered.