Council examining options to protect Edenderry heritage site

Offaly County Council is examining options to better protect the historic Blundell Castle in Edenderry after reports of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Local historian Dr Ciarán Reilly raised concerns over recent signs of fire damage and graffiti in the grounds of the castle.

He told the Offaly Independent the local authority had made contact with him on his concerns and was looking into the issue.

Dr Reilly said it was particularly important that action be taken as the castle had been subject to significant investment recently.“They spent a lot of money on it and have done a lot of conservation work there,” he said.

Fencing around the castle, which dates back to the mid 16th century, was recently removed and whilst Dr Reilly advocates increased public accessibility to historic buildings, he says this must be balanced with a requirement to ensure the structure is not damaged. He feels greater maintenance and a revamp of the Edenderry Town Park, in which the castle is located, is an ideal solution, as it would result in increased footfall and public use and deter anti-social behaviour. “That would go a long way towards getting rid of anti-social behaviour around Blundell Castle.”

The current Blundell Castle dates from the mid 16th century, but it is likely it was also the site of an earlier structure.

The building was part of two significant moments in Irish history, as it was attacked by the Earl of Tyrone in the 1590s as part of the Nine Year War, and also during the Williamite War in 1691.“It is an important part of the history of the locality.”