Green light for Doneraile Court exhibition centre
A PLAN to convert the ground floor of the Court House at Doneraile Park into a dedicated exhibition centre has been given the green light by Cork County Council planners.
The development will be the latest element of a comprehensive plan by the Office of Public Works (OPW) to further enhance the park's growing reputation as one of Ireland's premier visitor attractions.
Projects already undertaken at the park include works to internal footpaths, bridges and car parks, the opening in 2012 of teas rooms and restoration work on the iconic Triumphal Arch.
It is estimated that the OPW has already spent in the region of €500,000 on improvement works at the Park, with the Court House conversion set to cost the same amount again.
The conversion will entail the internal renovation of the vacant residential area on the ground floor of the historic house.
This will allow for the creation of the exhibition rooms and associated facilities for public use, including a disabled WC and a new entrance door.
The project also makes provision for a new external wheelchair access ramp and three new disabled parking spaces.
Minister for State Sean Sherlock has welcomed the decision to grant planning for the project on the protected structure.
"I'm delighted Cork County Council has granted permission for this exciting initiative.
"This is great progress and a sign of the commitment shown by the OPW and Minister Hayes to Doneraile Park and the Doneraile region," said Minister Sherlock.
He said he looked forward to working with the OPW and the local steering group in helping to put Doneraile on the national map.
"The conditions put on the permission will also provide a significant record on architectural history of Doneraile Court - something that will benefit the area locally but also provide a strong reference for those interested in the history of the area," said Minister Sherlock.
"I want to pay tribute to the Local Steering Group for the tremendous work they are carrying out on a daily basis in Doneraile and I look forward to the next step in this journey in the Doneraile renaissance," he added.