Thursday, 1 November 2012

Work to Secure the walls of Carnew Castle finally begins

Work to Secure the walls of Carnew Castle finally begins

Sinn Féin county councillor John Brady has welcomed the work that has
commenced to preserve the perimeter walls of Carnew castle. The castle
dates back to the 16th century and has in recent years fallen into a
poor condition with sections of the perimeter wall collapsing onto the
Main St in Carnew posing a serious threat to the safety of the public.
Since Cllr Brady first raised the issue last year a grant has been
secured from the Heritage Council and the work has recently started.

Cllr Brady welcomed the work and said “I first raised this issue of
Carnew castle over a year ago, the castle which is located on the Main
St. in Carnew is a listed building and it is on the listed monuments
register. Unfortunately over the last number of years it has fallen
into poor condition. The main castle needs extensive work and the
perimeter wall was collapsing onto the Main St. An application to the
Heritage Council under their grant scheme was successful and
thankfully the work has recently commenced”.

Cllr Brady continued "Carnew castle dates back to the 16th century, it
was built by the O'Tooles of Leinster and has a lengthy history.
During the Rebellion of 1641 about 160 settlers were besieged in the
castle for 22 weeks, by a force of around 1,000 Irish Rebels led by
the Mastersons, Byrnes and Donal Kavanagh of Ballingate. The castle
was held by the Knockloe O’Byrnes until 1649, when it was taken by Sir
Richard Talbot. Two years later the castle took a pounding from
Cromwell’s Roundheads under the command of Colonel Hewson during the
course of which the roof was destroyed. It fell into disuse in the
early 18th century. In the mid 18th century a large number of English
Protestants settled in Carnew and the area became a Royalist
stronghold throughout the 19th century. During the 1798 Rebellion,
Carnew Castle was used as a British garrison and 38 United Irishmen
prisoners were taken from the castle on the morning of 25th May 1798
and executed by firing squad in the nearby handball alley as a warning
to the local population."

Cllr Brady went onto say "The castle has a huge historical
significance both locally and nationally and the restoration work is
to be welcomed. Sections of the castle wall which had fallen onto the
footpath in 2009 and had remained there resulting in it being cordoned
off. Large sections of the wall were very unstable and were also at
risk of collapsing. This work when complete will ensure that it’s
preserved for future generations and the footpath will again be
reopened to the public”.

Cllr Brady concluded "In the future I would like to see the castle
opened to the public as I believe it has the potential to be a big
tourist attraction in the south Wicklow area.  The funding this year
from the Heritage Council is welcome; however more substantial funding
will be needed to ensure the castle reaches its full potential”. Ends

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