Questions have been raised about how long Carlingford’s King John Castle will remain closed to the public after it emerged that conservation works at the castle have now ceased.
The impressive castle was currently undergoing works, under the auspices of the Office of Public, who have previously said it will be opened to the public in 2014.
The Dundalk Democrat has now been told thatwork has in fact stopped at the castle.
The subject of the castle was raised at a recent county council meeting and while Louth County Council owns the land, they do not own the historic castle itself.
In a statement to the Dundalk Democrat, Louth County Council said: “The Castle is not the property of Louth County Council .We do own the lands surrounding it and do provide access to the castle walls at all times.
“The facility is managed by the OPW and National Monuments Service in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has a role in approving works to the castle.
“Senator Terry Brennan has had Minister Hayes (OPW) on site and there was agreement to have works carried out and castle opened in 2014 – This is now between the two departments.”
The Office of Public Works began conservation works on the castle in the 1950s, and it is currently undergoing more conservation works so there is no access to the castle for the moment.
Yet they have now the told the paper that work has been stopped at the Carlingford landmark.
The OPW said: “Discussions are ongoing at the moment and all proposed works have ceased until further notice.
When asked as to why the work had ceased, the office which is based in Trim said: “The work was ceased pending archaeological discussions.”
The OPW failed to elaborate on the exact reasons behind the ceasation of work at the site.
So it seems that the castle which dominates the quay area of the Carlingford may well face a period of limbo. With government departments looking to cut costs, the expenses associated with repairing the castle may prove too much in the short term.