BUILDERS on site at the fire-damaged Worrall’s Inn in Castleconnell will reduce the “eyesore” in the village and give auctioneers new impetus.
Pat Kearney, of Rooney’s, has already sold the landmark pub three times during his career and the news has given hope to a fourth. “The fact that the building is being reinstated to a certain level will certainly be very helpful to the sale of the property. It is a beautiful property in the centre of Castleconnell and deserves to be upgraded to its original standard.
“Lots of people had interest in that property and a couple of people had put offers on it but it was never finalised. It was always a lovely pub and a much-loved one,” said Mr Kearney.
The historic building has been part of the village’s Main Street since the 1820s. It has gone largely untouched since the fire in May 20144.
Deputy Kieran O’Donnell said the roof will be restored and “other significant structural works”.
“I have been working for some time with Limerick City and County Council and with Grant Thornton, the project manager for the Worrall’s Inn.
“The fact that you now have builders out there physically restoring it is a positive development for Castleconnell. We know the building is being restored and then one can proceed to put forward proposals that the building would be put back in use as quickly as possible and contribute to the activity of the village as it has done for many years,” said Mr O’Donnell.
Cllr Shane Clifford said he has been working on this since the day it went on fire. “I have had several meetings with the economic, development and planning department. I would like to thank the enforcement section for helping to put the pressure on the owners of this property. I am delighted to see progress. It is a pity it has taken so long and the threat of enforcement action for this to happen,” said Mr Clifford, who wants to see the property made available for sustainable commercial enterprise to create jobs in the community quickly.
“It is a real pity that it didn’t come in time to save the loss of a major investment opportunity to Newport which would have created 20 to 30 local jobs. If other people, who seem to be involved now, put in their time earlier in the day we may not have lost the jobs,” said the local councillor. The building has been a blight on the good work of Castleconnell Tidy Towns, who like the whole community were saddened by the fire.
“However, rather than wring our hands we began a lobbying process with Limerick City and County Council and our local TD Kieran O’Donnell. After the initial removal of all the burnt material in October, 2014, progress has been very slow, but we kept going. We realise that the legal process was complex and there were a number of parties involved, but as we planted our summer bedding this year it was hard to keep motivated
“Now that building work has resumed, we are delighted that soon it will be partly restored and the scaffolding and fencing will finally be removed,” say the Tidy Towns group.