Written Answers. - National Monuments.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

190 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will provide an update on the restoration work on Ballybunion Castle, County Kerry; the plans she has to designate it a national monument; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20900/00]

I refer the Deputy to Question No. 838 answered on Tuesday, 3 October 2000 in which I outlined the current position in relation to repairs to Ballybunion Castle.

As the structure is already in the ownership of the local authority, I do not propose at this stage to take it into my care as a national monument.

The monument is also entered in the record of monuments and places for County Kerry in accordance with section 12 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1994. This affords it legal protection in so far as I must receive prior written notice of any proposed works to the monument.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

191 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands when work will commence on the restoration of Listowel Castle, County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20901/00]

As the Deputy will be aware, planning permission has been received for a staircase to allow public access to the upper levels of Listowel Castle. A structural engineer has been engaged to prepare detailed working drawings and when these are available it is planned to go to tender for the project. Tenders will be invited in the new year.

Part of the proposed development also involves conservation and consolidation of the entire structure and its presentation, including landscaping, in order to permit public access. Advertisements for both masons and general operatives were placed in the local newspapers and interviews are scheduled for mid-October. If a suitable team of workers can be recruited as a result of this process it is hoped that work will start in early December.