Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
118. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the applications received for funding from Louth County Council or another public body, including Fáilte Ireland, in respect of maintenance or other development works to St. Laurence’s Gate, Drogheda, the Old Abbey, Drogheda, Drogheda town walls and so on; the plans in place which will see the OPW develop a heritage or cultural site or centre in Drogheda; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2784/20]
The Office of Public Works has received no application for funding from Louth Co. Council in respect of the St. Laurence's Gate, which is a National Monument in OPW's care. Any funds required for maintenance of this structure are provided within the subvention to the OPW for National Monuments and the Local Authority has no function in the matter.
OPW has no role in relation to the other heritage structures mentioned and is not responsible for their maintenance or visitor development. In terms of the development of St. Laurence's Gate as a visitor attraction, once the serious structural issues with the Monument are addressed, the intention is to make the structure accessible to visitors. Access to the site is currently provided during special events such as Heritage Week, local festivals, etc. and it is hoped, in time, this can be expanded. Given that a visitor proposal for St. Laurence's Gate is not in sight in the short term, the question of an application for funding to Failte Ireland does not arise.