Friday 20 October 2017

€100,000 to bring 'Thatch' up to scratch, says Martin



COUNTY MANAGER Joan Martin has sent a strong message to the owner of the dilapidated former Thatch pub on the Donore Road; fix this, as we won't.

The ongoing saga of attempting to get this listed building renovated beyond its current dangerous condition continued at the recent January meeting, when a status update on legal proceedings was given.

Owner Vincent Black was served with a notice under the planning act in February of 2011, requiring him to carry out essential work to the 160-year-old structure, however nothing has yet been done to make the building watertight.

'I estimate it will take €100,000 to bring this building up to a standard where it no longer is in danger of falling down,' said Ms Martin, ' and I am very reluctant to take on the responsibility or pursue the owner for any improvements we would make, as I would anticipate great problems in recovering the costs.

'I would dearly love to see it look better, especially as it is in such a prominent position, but I went to great bother to secure a heritage grant for this and I was given promises by the owner he would use it, and that didn't happen.'

Cllr Ken O'Heiligh suggested that, in the mean time, expressions of interest from local community groups could show if any others uses could be found for it.

'It is a unique part of Drogheda's heritage, and it could be the ideal venue for traditional music if the Fleadh Cheoil comes here and maybe people would be willing to take it on as a project,' he said.

'It would be a tragedy to lose the property, and perhaps someone would be in a position to put it back to the way it was.'

Businessman Vincent Black was approached by the Drogheda Independent, but said he would not comment at this time, only to say ' these are vey different times we live in'.

Mr Black, who recently opened Cagney's Bar in Dyer Street, aquired the former Thatch pub from Seamus Domegan in 2005.

'I welcome Cllr O'Heiligh's suggestion that if someone wants to care for the building, they should be given the opportunity,' said Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell.

'If the owner fulfilled his obligations to the community, never mind to the law, he should hand over to the Comhaltas.'