Tuesday 17 July 2018

Still no decision on future of Wicklow Town Hall

Cllr Mary Kavanagh
Cllr Mary Kavanagh

A future use for the vacant town hall in Wicklow town still hasn't been confirmed by Wicklow County Council nearly two years since the old Wicklow Town Council was abolished.

A decision on the use of the building lays with Chief Executive, Bryan Doyle, and the members of Wicklow Municipal District will seek a meeting with him to try and secure a tenant for the building.

'Where are we at? This is getting ridiculous,' said Cllr Shay Cullen.

'It is becoming a standard joke. We are getting asked on a regular basis - 'why can't something be done with the town hall?' It is embarrassing to Wicklow County Council that nothing has happened.'

Cllr Daire Nolan said fellow councillors from elsewhere in the county were also taken aback at how long the building has been allowed sit vacant for.

'I was speaking to Cllr Chris Fox recently and he commented that the town hall was beginning to look a bit shabby.

'He was stunned when I told him the building only gets used once a month, just for Wicklow Municipal District meetings. There's not another single thing taking place in the building.'

Cllr Irene Winters maintained that all the elected members wanted the premises to be occupied.

'This isn't the will of the members. For two years we have been asking for something to be done, something that would use the building productively and would increase footfall in this area.

'What people are saying to me is that this is indicative of how the council operate, taking forever to come to any decision - and it is very difficult to argue against that.'

Cllr Mary Kavanagh felt the building would be the perfect setting for a maritime museum or a heritage museum, both of which would recognise the town's close association with the sea.

'The town is steeped in history but we have no focal point for visitors.'

Cllr Gail Dunne felt a museum in the Town Hall would dove-tail nicely with the nearby Wicklow Gaol.

Cllr John Snell questioned why the council hadn't pursued the various groups who last year expressed interest in using the building.

'There is something else at play here. The council invited expressions of interests from organisations.

'Various groups replied and put packages together. Expressions of interest were given, only for the council to withdraw the whole process.

'Now two years after the elections, it is still vacant.'

Wicklow People