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Time for a new act at Briery Gap in Macroom

October 18th, 2020 11:50 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Smoke billowing from an upper floor window at the iconic Briery Gap Theatre in Macroom as fire took hold of the building in 2016. (Photo: John Delea)

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A MACROOM councillor is calling for urgent progress to be made on the refurbishment of the Council-owned Briery Gap Theatre and Library which was devastated by fire over four years ago and still remains closed.

Cllr Martin Coughlan (Ind) raised the ongoing delays with progress on the building at a recent meeting of the Macroom Municipal District held in Kilmurry Museum.

As previously reported in The Southern Star, a total of €4.2m is to be spent on the refurbishment and Cork County Council confirmed last year that the project will transform it into a ‘modern, accessible and environmentally friendly building.’

Just last September, the government confirmed that an additional €350,000 was to be made available to support its reconstruction.

‘Every time we bring up the issue of the Briery Gap we are being told that we are still waiting to deal with a couple of residents there. It’s now time to press ahead with the plans,’ said Cllr Coughlan.

‘It’s four years going on five years since it burned down and I’m on the board and I’m telling people the same answers all the time and people around the town think we are fobbing them off.’

Cllr Coughlan pointed out that money has been secured from the Department for the refurbishment and that it is time to move the project forward.

‘There is no progress being made and people are not aware either of what the problems are really and they don’t understand it.

‘I think it’s time to push it on and put it out to tender and see what happens after that.

Cllr Coughlan added that it was the focal point of Macroom town and it has disappeared for the past  four years.

Senior executive office Nicola Radley reassured Cllr Coughlan that there is plenty happening in the background but could not comment further on the matter for fear of jeopardising the process.

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