Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
161. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 85 of 28 April 2022, the progress that has been made to date with respect of works to repair a property (details supplied); the works that remain uncompleted; the timetable for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2227/23]
I’d like to thank the Deputy for his question in relation to Barryscourt Castle and I welcome the opportunity to update him on progress. As the Deputy is aware from my previous responses to Parliamentary questions in respect of Barryscourt Castle, the Office of Public Works is very much committed to the conservation and repair project at the Castle.
To date the works completed include the erection of scaffolding, pointing and regrouting, lead-work and works in relation to the lowering of the ground water level around the Castle. These works are labour-intensive and delivered by skilled stone masons in the OPW direct labour workforce.
The next stage of works which will require Ministerial consent from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, includes the design of new mechanical and electrical (M&E) systems for the Castle. The proposed M&E installation works will commence when repointing and grouting work are complete on site and the building has sufficiently dried out.
To this end, the OPW is currently working on the design for these new systems which will include the installation of new heating, lighting, fire alarm, emergency lighting, external lighting and CCTV. This work is at an advanced stage and it is hoped that a final design can be signed off before the end of Qtr 1 2023. It will then be necessary to go out to tender to engage the services of a suitably qualified contractor to undertake these works and, as advised, to obtain the necessary Ministerial Consent prior to any commencement of works on site.
I would like to reassure the Deputy that once consent is granted, these works will be prioritised for completion. Regrettably, I cannot confirm an exact re-opening date for the Castle as year but the OPW is working towards a staged reopening of the site to the public during the 2024 season.