Tralee street is shut amid fears over pub building
Tralee's Castle Street is to remain closed to traffic as works continue to secure and stabilise the facade of a building on the street.
On Saturday Kerry County Council closed the street to traffic after the front of the building that houses the well-known Baily's Corner bar appeared to become seriously unstable.
The structural issues with the front of the premises have now forced the bar to close its doors for the foreseeable future.
Serious concerns about the structural integrity of the 200-year-old building's facade emerged after planned and approved renovation works began on Saturday morning.
The works were halted and following consultation with gardaí Kerry County Council decided to close the street to traffic in the interest of public safety.
The renovation work on the building was suspended to allow for a complete structural examination of the premises and on Tuesday workers began work to re-enforce, restore and repair the front of the building.
Management of Baily's Corner have been in constant contact with council engineers, gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority regarding the situation.
On Tuesday evening - after a meeting of council management - Kerry County Council confirmed that the section of Castle Street in front of the building will remain closed to traffic "until the council is satisfied that there is no risk to public safety from the building in question".
Limited pedestrian access will be maintained but there will be no access for vehicles to the street between the junctions of Ashe Street and Edward Street.
The interior of the building had been deemed structurally sound and the pub was able to reopen for a number of hours on Tuesday.
However, following a fire safety assessment the owners were ordered to close the business. While the interior of the building is stable the closure order was made as - with the front of the building sealed off - the premises currently does not have adequate fire exits to meet safety requirements.
As a result the pub must remain shut until the facade of the building is repaired and suitable frontal access is restored.
The closure - which is likely to last at least several weeks - will mean an uncertain summer for the bar's 10 to 15 full and part time staff.
Management said they are determined to reopen and thanked the public for their patience and support.
"We're going nowhere. We'll be back, we've just been forced to take an unexpected summer holiday," said bar manager Connor O'Donnell.
"The council, gardaí and all the officials we've dealt with have been very understanding and we'd like to thank them. We' also want to thank everyone in town for their patience and support they have shown us during a very difficult time," Mr O'Donnell said.