A 200-YEAR-old former town hall and masonic lodge is likely to be torn down in Clonakilty because it has gone beyond repair.
Standing orders were suspended at a meeting of the Western Committee in Clonakilty on Monday after Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said the issue needed to be clarified as a matter of urgency.
He said some local people are reluctant to see the building demolished.
But Cllr O’Sullivan said he, personally, had no sentimental attachment to the building, because it was once a dental surgery too and held ‘painful memories’ for him!
He said locals realise that the building – which has vegetation growing out through the roof – is not structurally sound and would probably be unable to withstand the sheet-piling in the nearby flood relief works.
Although there is no preservation order on the building, it is within what is known as ‘a zone of notification’, which means the Minister for Environment would have to be notified if the building were to be torn down.
‘It is a bit of an eyesore,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan. While Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) suggested that the riverside site could offer more potential than the building is worth.
Council divisional manager Clodagh Henehan noted the building was badly damaged by flooding in 2009 and the structure is now ‘dangerous inside’.
She said an engineering survey which was carried out on behalf of the OPW had also confirmed that the building is ‘not recoverable.’
Ms Henehan said she doesn’t think the building could survive the sheet-piling and she suggested that when the fire station is relocated to the by-pass road – within the next two years – it could open up the site for future development.
She said the town centre site would allow for a decent local authority building to be built in its place to accommodate the increased demands for space by the staff at the current town hall and the LEO.