Councillors seek OPW meeting as Granny Castle progress stalls

COUNTY councillors representing South Kilkenny are to seek a meeting with the Office of Public Works (OPW), as progress has once again faltered on the plans for lighting at Granny Castle.

COUNTY councillors representing South Kilkenny are to seek a meeting with the Office of Public Works (OPW), as progress has once again faltered on the plans for lighting at Granny Castle.

At the recent meeting of the Piltown Electoral Area, Cllr Tomas Breathnach told his colleagues that the issue of access to the site remained a problem for the OPW. Any power supply to the castle has to be brought through privately owned land.

“The OPW has decided that it is best not to proceed,” he told his colleagues.

“They said the would come back to us at a later date. This is unfortunate, as this was an opportunity for the local community to work with the OPW, which was the idea.”

The councillors have agreed to now write a letter to seeking a meeting between the OPW, Kilkenny County Council and local landowners and residents.

“The caretaker has no objections to this, and the OPW are letting on that there is an issue here when there isn’t,” said Cllr Cora Long.

“We want to meet and get this all out on the table.”

Some €30,000 has been set aside in the budget for the lighting scheme. Area engineer Ian Gardner warned that the while the money was ringfenced for the scheme until 2014, the budget could be cut in the meantime.

Local councillors say the proposed lighting would make the castle a focal point in the area. However, it is generally OPW policy not to illuminate such landmarks in the countryside, because it might interfere with the vision of the night sky.