Talbot’s Tower is expected to be open to the public later this year as Kilkenny County Council has found a way around the iconic structure’s Japanese Knotweed problem.
At a meeting of Kilkenny City Municipal District last Friday, members received an update on Talbot’s Tower and the adjoining city walls. Talbot’s Tower – which dates back to the 13th Century – represents the only surviving complete defensive tower of the City Wall circuit.
In 2015, the discovery of Japanese Knotweed resulted in the closure of the site and prevented public access until a survey was undertaken in December of last year to determine the extent of the infestation.
The survey found the Knotweed is contained within the boarded-off section of the site and a treatment plan is now in place for the eradication of the Knotweed which could take up to five years.
Proposed works now for the pocket park site – including the installation of footpaths and gravel areas and the provision of up-lighting to illuminate the Tower and walls – will have the site ready to open to the public by the spring of this year.
A possible date for the reopening that was mooted was the International Day of Monuments and Sites on Friday, April 13.
Cllr Patrick McKee said: “It should be opened as soon as possible. The Government have failed for a number of years to deal with Knotweed. There are people whose lives have been ruined by it.”
Cllr Malcolm Noonan said there has been a State failure to deal with invasive species like Knotweed. He called for the City Wall Steering Committee to be re-convened as there are still sections in a “very poor state”.