Cookies on Offaly Independent website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Offaly Independent website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Offaly Independent use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don't sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • News

Varadkar commits to adding Durrow Abbey to agenda

Monday, 14th April, 2014 3:54pm

Story by Laura Ryder
Jump to comments
Varadkar commits to adding Durrow Abbey to agenda

Durrow High Cross

Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Leo Varadkar has promised to discuss Durrow Abbey at a quarterly meeting he’s due to attend with the National Roads Authority (NRA) in the coming weeks.

The Minister and MEP Mairead McGuinness were met at the site just outside Tullamore this afternoon (Monday) by local public representatives and members of the Durrow High Cross committee who are keen to see the site developed into a top-class tourist facility.

Planning permission to add visitor and parking facilities to the attraction has long been given by Offaly County Council, but money is currently unavailable to complete road works on the N52 that are a condition of that planning permission.

Speaking to Minister Varadkar today chairperson of the Durrow High Cross committee Helen Bracken said hundreds of people are visiting the popular site even without signage or promotion due to road safety issues.

“The possibilities for tourism are huge,” she explained.

Minister Varadkar promised no immediate funding for the project, explaining that with road budgets down 35-80 per cent the priority now is maintenance and restoration.

“I don’t know when that will change,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to make promises he couldn’t keep.

He did, however, commit to adding the issue to the agenda of a meeting he’s due to have with the CEO of the NRA in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said a meeting she attended with NRA and OPW representatives last week included a commitment from both bodies to work together on the issue, with the OPW promising to look afresh at access issues and see if an alternative plan can be formed.

Offaly Independent-Read in full for FREE. Subscribe here.