Kilkenny County Council has been advised that the Office of Public Works (OPW) will most likely not agree to allow feature lighting at Granny Castle, but local councillors say that answer is not good enough.
Cllr Cora Long (FF) questioned an assertion by the OPW that a proposal to put in feature lighting at the castle was against the guidelines for national monuments.
“I can’t understand the logic of it, saying that national monuments won’t be lit. The purpose of tourism is to draw people to see it,” Cllr Long said at a meeting of the council’s Piltown electoral area.
Senior engineer Simon Walton informed members that when a council official met with the OPW he was told that “no matter how well-intentioned, it is 99% certain that feature lighting would not be permitted.”
The council has set aside e30,000 in its draft capital budget for the lighting. It was suggested that the money could be used for parking and amenity facilities on the site instead, but members agreed to keep the current proposal in place until the OPW could be contacted again regarding the matter.
“If you go around the country, national monuments are lit up, so is there something wrong with us down here?” Cllr Long asked.
“We need to know why,” agreed Cllr Pat Dunphy (FG). “They said it isn’t the practice, but you do see monuments everywhere (with lighting).”
“My issue is that the decision is being made by people who maybe know nothing about the place,” he added. “It’s not just a castle three or four miles into the country. It’s a historic castle and you have roads going on different sides of it so why not let people know it’s there?”
“We pay for public art along the motorways and here is a case of a historic piece that is there (to be seen),” said Cllr Anne-Maria Irish (FG).