herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Castle to get €80k upgrade amid safety fears

SWORDS Castle is finally set for another round of renovation - as a new report warns that parts of the monument pose a danger to the public at present.

According to Swords Castle Conservation Plan, health and safety concerns need to be "urgently" addressed.

The ruinous gatehouse is highlighted in the report, which was commissioned by the Fingal authorities, as one part of the run-down castle that could be a safety concern.

The Knights and Squires chamber is also earmarked for immediate works as it is structurally unsound.

At present, the building is closed off to visitors, which many view as a waste of a potentially valuable historic site, but the grounds are accessible.

The well-worn national monument needs work both above and below ground level.

Fingal County Council plans to spend €80,000 before the end of 2016 on the protected structure and €50,000 of the overall budget will be used this year.

REPAIRS

The plan aims to carry out repairs in the short-term to improve how the site looks to visitors and to address safety concerns.

In 2000, work began on the gatehouse, battlements and chapel walls. Extensive reconstruction work will be carried out in the coming years.

It is thought that, as the country's only remaining Lord Bishop's castle, dating back to the 13th century, it will prove a huge draw for visitors.

Independent councillor Justin Sinnott said getting the castle and main street back on track are the main priorities in Swords.

hnews@herald.ie

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