Sinn Féin TD Johnny Guirke has raised concerns over the state of Cairn T at the Loughcrew heritage site near Oldcastle, County Meath. The site is a significant part of Ireland’s ancient history, and it is essential that it is preserved for future generations.
Deputy Guirke once again asked the Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform in a parliamentary question if a start date has been agreed for the commencement of remedial works on Cairn T and the plan and schedule for the re-opening of Cairn T to the public. He further requested the Minister to make a statement on the matter.
In response, the Office of Public Works (OPW) confirmed that they had held constructive meetings on site with the National Monuments Service of the Department for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. During these meetings, details of the continued structural supports that will be needed to safeguard Cairn T were agreed upon.
OPW’s structural engineers are finalizing detailed plans regarding permanent structural support work to replace the temporary prop currently in situ. The work is expected to commence early in 2024.
A Conservation Management Plan for Loughcrew is also being commissioned as part of the long-term preservation efforts for this important heritage site. The plan will include a schedule for the re-opening of Cairn T to the public, considering the necessary remedial works and any other conservation measures that may be required.
Deputy Guirke welcomed the progress being made in relation to the preservation and reopening of Cairn T at Loughcrew. He emphasized the importance of safeguarding the site for future generations, given its significance to our local and national heritage.
The Sinn Féin TD also stated that he would be asking the Minister for regular updates on the progress of these works and urged the government to ensure that sufficient funding is made available to complete this important project as soon as possible.
In conclusion, Guirke reiterated his commitment to working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that Cairn T at Loughcrew is safeguarded for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. It is our responsibility to preserve and protect our heritage sites, and we must take all necessary steps to ensure that they are preserved for future generations.
Guirke finished by stating that “I don’t want to keep seeing missed deadlines and that work should commence swiftly to open Cairn T to the public once again after it has been closed to the public for the past 5 years. I have raised this issue in the past and will continue to do so.