Ardee Castle set to open its doors to the public next summer

Gene Yore

Reporter:

Gene Yore

Mr Brian Walsh curator of the County Museum in Dundalk has told Ardee Town Councillors that they oldest fortified town building is finally moving towards its full potential

Mr Brian Walsh curator of the County Museum in Dundalk has told Ardee Town Councillors that they oldest fortified town building is finally moving towards its full potential

He will be consulting with the County Fire Officer and Conservation Officer and a team of architects from Fingal County Council will begin work in the next few weeks on the new plans.

A new Cuchulainn Room will be based in the house at the side of the Castle.

This will feature the Cuchulainn-Ferdia legend.

In the courtyard at the back of the castle there will be a whole area focusing on criminal justice, or the lack of it, in times gone by and it will highlight famous events and cases.

The castle itself wil highlight the history of the town. And there are plans to have the town mace, currently in the National Museum, on permanent display.

Cllr Padraig McKenny stressed the importance of the public having access to the mezzanine room, the band room, and the roof of the castle itself.

Mr Walsh said he would instruct the architects to look into that.

Cllr McKenny also pointed out that the people of Ardee had raised a considerable sum of money over the years towards the renovation of the castle so it is important, in his opinion, that this final work will ensure full public access and all health and safety problems that arose in the past are finally sorted out.

The castle could finally be turned into a major arts, cultural and historical centre, as well as becoming a tourist attraction. The award-winning museum in Dundalk has thousands of items, most of which are in storage at any given time, and many of these valuable pieces could now be put on display in Ardee.