Adare’s Abbey walls in need of urgent repair

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

MOVES to preserve the ruins of the 15th century Franciscan Friary in Adare will take a small step forward next month.

MOVES to preserve the ruins of the 15th century Franciscan Friary in Adare will take a small step forward next month.

MOVES to preserve the ruins of the 15th century Franciscan Friary in Adare will take a small step forward next month.

The Minister responsible for the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes is expected to visit the site within the next few weeks – and the hope in Adare is that some agreement can be reached which would lead to the preservation of the ruins.

The central problem is that the friary is not publicly owned. Instead, because of its location within the grounds of the Adare Manor Golf Club, it has become the property of and the responsibility of the golf club.

“We can’t let it go into decay but we can’t do anything without the OPW. We don’t have the money to do it,” club chairman Tom Healy said.

The club secretary Milo Spillane estimated that it would cost €30,000 to draw up a programme of works for the abbey alone- and possibly €250,000 to secure it into the future.

However, he added; “It’s not going to fall down today or tomorrow or even next year. But the frost and snow of the last two winters have penetrated and some walls are suffering a little.”

The club has identified three or four specific spots where repairs are urgent and necessary – and it is pushing for the OPW to carry these out.

However, the problem up to now has been that the OPW has insisted it cannot carry out work on buildings it doesn’t own.

The difficulty for the club is that public ownership would mean losing part of the course near the abbey, land which it can ill-afford to lose. Space-wise, Mr Spillane says, it is fairly tight. Another possible difficulty would be access across the golf course, if the abbey were to be publicly owned.

Mr Spillane believes a temporary solution is possible which would buy time to find a more enduring one.