Work is set to commence this week on the development of a long-awaited €172,000 walkway to the Durrow High Cross.
The breakthrough comes following confirmation from that the National Monument Service has approved the plans to develop a walkway to Durrow High Cross.
Offaly Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy explained: “Last year the Minister for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring TD allocated €172,959 to Offaly County Council under the Rural Recreation Scheme to develop a walkway to allow further access to the Durrow High Cross.
However, due to historical importance of this monastic heritage site, the Council’s plans had to be approved by the National Monument Service.
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy said: “I have been working with officials in Offaly County Council, Minister Madigan and her predecessor Minister Heather Humphreys to ensure that approval is secured to allow works on this to commence.”
“Offaly County Council has confirmed to me that works will commence this week on this project. I have worked very closely with my colleague, Cllr Tommy McKeigue, Offaly County Council, the Office of Public Works and successive Ministers to try and ensure that this wonderful attraction is open and accessible to the public since my election in 2011.
“Fine Gael in Government has provided the resources to finally develop access from the existing Coillte forest trails nearby, to the Durrow attraction. The Coillte estate is already served by a carpark, therefore once the project is completed, visitors will be able to park locally and walk safely to the National Monument.”
Cllr Tommy McKeigue said: “I welcome this great news because the vommittee in Durrow have been working diligently on this project for the past 16 years.
“I would like to commend the committee who stuck with this project with commitment and determination to try and open up Durrow Abbey to the public. This is the next phase along to path to ensuring that this national treasure is accessible. The tourism potential for the attraction has not yet been realised. I look forward to seeing works commence on this project in the coming days.”