Saturday 22 July 2017

Minister pays tribute to initiative and hard work of Carrigadrohid Castle group

MINISTER for the Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, SíleDeValera, paid tribute to the initiative and hard-work of a group ofCarrigadrohid ...

MINISTER for the Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, SíleDeValera, paid tribute to the initiative and hard-work of a group ofCarrigadrohid people who have taken the first step towards their ultimategoal of protecting a vital part of their community's heritage.

The Ministerwas speaking on Thursday at the launch of the archaeological/architecturalreport on Carrigadrohid Castle which took place at Bealick Mill in Macroom.

The Minister said she was delighted to have been invited to officiallylaunch the report which outlines in considerable detail the history ofCarrigadrohid Castle, its present condition and the measures required tosafeguard the structure. She paid tribute to the Carrigadrohid CastleProject Committee which was formed on May 13, 1998, when a group of concernedlocal people met at Canovee Hall to discuss the condition of the castle.

``I think great credit is due to the Carrigadrohid Castle Project Committeeunder the chairmanship of Peter Scanlan, for their initiative incommissioning this survey with a view to preserving this castle for futuregenerations,'' Minister de Valera said.

Committee members included Paddy Ring, Ted Dunne, Paul Power, MichaelMurphy, R Browne, Con Dunne, Mary Harrington and Peter Scanlan. All membersshowed considerable determination to preserve the castle which encompassesmuch of the history and heritage of the area and now just over two yearssince that meeting, stage one of a plan to do that has been completed.

On March 21 this year, an architect, an engineer and an archaeologist beganthe survey of the castle. The following extract from page 14 of the reporthighlights the serious condition of the castle: ``Of much moresignificance on a daily basis is the loss of fabric from the walls. This notonly presents a serious safety issue from stone falls, but also reminds usthat, although these walls are massive, their continuous erosion willeventually leave us with nothing but a pile of stones.''

The report also states that ``in some instances stones have cracked butthis appears to have occurred where under significant shear loads as aresult of more structural movement. The significant erosion is hence to themortar which, once absent, leaves the stones unbedded. There are a number ofmechanisms for this erosion . . . All of the mechanisms for erosion to thewalls can be halted or significantly retarded . . . ''

In her speech, Minister de Valera said: ``The local community clearly has agreat pride in their heritage, and this is something I am anxious to fosterthroughout the country. In these times of great technological advances andhectic lifestyles, I believe that it is increasingly important that we asindividuals take the time out to reflect on our history and acknowledge itsimportance and relevance today.''

She went on to say: ``I have always said that the state heritage sectordoes not have, nor cannot expect to have all of the wisdom and expertise. Imust look to other sectors such as voluntary groups up and down the countrywho do so much to engender an appreciation and awareness of heritage.''

The survey is particularly valuable to the Carrigadrohid locals as itoutlines the methods which will prevent the castle's complete erosion. TheMinister referred to the report as a `splendid production, containing manyfine photographs and illustrations, and succinct, carefully consideredrecommendations.'. She also paid credit to Messrs. Howley HarringtonArchitects, who carried out the survey in association with Lisa Edden,Structural Engineer and Eamonn Cotter, Archaeologist.

The Minister also referred to the area of funding for the futurerestoration project. ``Thanks to the magnificent fund-raising efforts of theproject committee and the invaluable contribution from the East Cork LeaderCo-Operative, the potential difficulty of raising money to carry out thesurvey was overcome. I am sure that Leader Co-Operative will consider thatit has been money well spent,'' she said.

``I hope that I can give more tangible support to the concept of localownership of the heritage in the National Heritage Plan which I intend topublish later this year,'' said the Minister.

Carrigadrohid Castle is situated on a rock out-crop in the River Lee,approximately five miles east of the town of Macroom. The castle is a towerhouse, a type of castle built extensively throughout Ireland in the MiddleAges, from the 15th to the 16th century.

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