The Ormonde Woollen Mills site is for sale in Kilkenny City
A local councillor has said that Kilkenny County Council should consider purchasing the historic Ormonde Woollen Mills site in Kilkenny City, which has recently been put up for sale.
Cllr Patrick McKee says the 13-acre property, located on the Canal Walk, merits consideration due to its uniqueness and importance to the industrial heritage of Kilkenny. He has now written to the Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council asking that the local authority, and perhaps the State, seriously consider purchasing the property and restoring it.
"The site is a hugely important element of the rich industrial heritage we have here in Kilkenny," he said.
"For me, it presents a major opportunity for the local authority and perhaps the State to step in, purchase the site, and regenerate an area of the city that has long been closed and unseen. Protecting the industrial legacy of Kilkenny is so important and opportunities like this don't come around too often."
The site, up for sale with an asking price of €950,000, includes much of the original Woollen Mills with waterways channelled underground, old water wheels, and a kind of 'island' formed. The original mill was built in the 17th Century, but was a centre of industry for hundreds of years prior.
While most of the mill buildings are in poor condition, auctioneers Sherry FitzGerald McCreery say 'the potential for their restoration is limitless'. Cllr McKee says this potential could allow for an artistic hub on the banks of the Nore, a space for watersports, cafe/restaurant, and more.
"Many locals can still remember the mill at full speed, including my own grandparents," he said.
"It's as much part of Kilkenny as Kilkenny Castle, and if we let the opportunity pass of purchasing this jewel in Kilkenny's rich industrial heritage, we might regret it.