THE Old Linen Hall in Clonakilty would be an ideal arts and performance space for the town.
That’s according to local councillors who have called on the local authority to purchase the iconic building which has been unused for many years and is now close to dereliction.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF), who brought the motion to Council, said action must be taken to save it.
‘It is terrible to see this building idle and in disrepair,’ Cllr Hayes said. ‘We, as a local authority, should handle this as a dereliction issue and put it to the owners to “use it or lose it”.’
Cllr Hayes, along with Cllr Chris O’Sullivan (FF), who seconded the motion, noted the vibrant arts community in and around Clonakilty who are struggling to find a venue.
‘This building would make an ideal arts centre for the town,’ Cllr O’Sullivan said. ‘It is centrally located and there is access to plenty of parking. The arts community, not only in Clonakilty, but across West Cork, would benefit from this building being regenerated and used once more.’
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) also supported the motion: ‘The Council has always been very supportive and anything that brings the arts communities together is a good idea.’
County Council senior executive officer, MacDara Ó Hicí told the meeting that a feasibility and sustainability study would have to be carried out before funding was discussed.
‘Purchasing something, such as this building is one thing, but we must ensure that the facility, whatever it is, is sustainable going into the future. However, let’s start the process and discuss the feasibility of purchasing the building,’ he said.