€35,000 in in funding has been allocated to carry out essential repairs and maintenance on the iconic O’Connell Monument in Ennis.
The funding is part of more €4.3m set aside under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF) and Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS). The funding for the O’Connell monument will come from the HSF while €60,000 in total has also been allocated to eight other projects in the county under the BHIS.
Erected in 1867, the monument to Daniel O’Connell is set on the site of former courthouse which was demolished in 1852.
The statue is inspected annually to check its structural integrity. Ennis fire service provides a hydraulic platform so that engineers can carry out a visual inspection of the monument.
The €35,000 earmarked from the O’Connell Monument in Ennis will go towards ‘emergency and stabilisation’ works on the structure.
Welcoming the announcement, Clare Fine Deputy Joe Carey said: “The funding is being released as we move to phase 2 of the Government’s roadmap to reopen our economy to ease the Covid-19 restrictions. It will help provide employment for many small businesses, conservation specialists and tradespeople involved in heritage-related construction activity in Clare.
“These schemes will play a vital role in helping local communities to regenerate the areas where they live and work, and to protect our built heritage for future generations.
“As the phased reopening of our economy continues, it is hoped it will be possible that many of the projects under the two Built Heritage Capital grant schemes can proceed without further delay.
Announcing the overall funding details, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, said: “I would like to thank the local authorities for their assistance in administering these schemes. I would also like to acknowledge the response of private owners and their willingness to invest their time and money in caring for our built heritage. I am delighted to be able to continue investing in our built heritage.”
Meanwhile, although the Ennis monument is the only Clare project to receive funding from the Historic Structures Fund, a total of eight allocations have been made under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS). These are:
Lime Kiln, Ballyquin, Tuamgraney – €4,000
Sykes House, West End, Kilkee – €5,000
Toovahera Church, Kilmoon West, Lisdoonvarna – €5,000
Besborough House, Poulnadaree, Killimer, Co. Clare – €13,000
Cratloemoyle Castle, Cratloe, Co. Clare – €10,000
Dysert O’Dea Castle, Corofin – €4,000
Loophead Lightkeepers House, Kilbaha South – €10,000
Maiville House, Lisdoonvarna – €9,000