The burnt out shell of the Bridge House, John Street, Kilkenny
As the people of the city, comes to terms with the impact of a fire that destroyed much of one of the city’s most prized listed buildings there is good news.
The owners, Neville Hotels have said it is still the intention of the Neville Group to restore The Bridge House and operate it as part of the River Court Hotel.
This will come as welcome to news to the many people who were upset by the damage caused to the iconic period townhouse which has a preservation order on it.
In a statement to the Kilkenny People, The Neville Group said that as access to the Bridge House is still restricted due to safety concerns, the full extent of the damage to the interior of the building is unknown.
The owners, have a proven track record in this type of project.
When the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire, a protected structure, was acquired in 2002 by the Neville family, extensive work was carried out in conjunction with conservationists and archaeologists to restore and enhance the property, making it a landmark building in South County Dublin.
It emerged over the weekend, that the hotel group had archaeological and architect surveys carried out on the Bridge house in the last 12 months.
Planning meetings were held with Kilkenny County Council to finalise planning permission, to bring the building back into operation, while restoring the magnificent features within.
This is still the intention of the company.
They complimented Chief Fire Officer, John Collins and his men who assisted staff and guests of the River Court Hotel after the emergency started.
“We would like to thank the Kilkenny Fire Service , An Garda Siochana, Kilkenny County Council and our business neighbours here on John Street for the quick responses and support during this sad time,” the statement said.
“The hotel was evacuated, but staff and guests were quickly able to return inside, once this was deemed safe.
“Throughout the day, the local gardaí, the chief fire officer and staff of Kilkenny County Council liaised directly with the staff of the hotel, and access into and out of the hotel was restored with their kind assistance,” the statement added.
The Bridge House was acquired by the Neville Hotel Group in August 2017, who currently operate The River Court Hotel, The Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin and The Tower Hotel in Waterford City.
Management at the River Court Hotel have advised guests and patrons that the hotel is fully operational and that the hotel and its operation was not impacted by the events of the past week and all future bookings will operate as normal.