Galway City Council has set out strict guidelines for plans by AIB to carry out structural repairs to Lynch’s Castle.
The bank had sought planning permission for masonry repairs because damage has been caused by corroding iron cramps.
Permission was approved for the work, but a conservation architect and an archaeologist must form part of an expert team working on the building, which is a National Monument and a Protected Structure.
Planners have also ordered that only hand tools can be used to loosen mortar between stone, and that the iron cramps be kept for further study.
“Only the conservator should loosen any stonework by hand around the lintels requiring repair.
“[The work] shall be carried out by skilled and experienced craftspeople. Adequate protection must be provided to the fabric and feature of the building and particularly the carved stonework, to prevent any damage.
“A qualified archaeologist shall be included as a member of the expert team overseeing the project to work in conjunction with the conservation architect to ensure the appropriate protection.
“Should previously unrecorded archaeological features/material be found during the course of works, all work on the site shall be stopped pending a decision as to how best to deal with the archaeology,” planners ordered.
AIB explained that damage has been occurring to stonework at the Castle.
“The works are intended to address structural damage that is occurring to stonework above window openings at the castle building. The damage is occurring due to the corrosion of embedded iron cramps that are built into the walls.
“As the corroding iron swells, it is damaging the adjacent stones and forcing them apart, resulting in loss of support to sections of wall directly above the window lintels. Active damage is thought to be occurring to two window openings on Shop Street and first floor level and a further window opening at second floor.
“One of the first floor openings has been temporarily propped until repair works can be carried out, and whilst there is no immediate risk of further damage occurring to that window, the temporary casing around the window opening has a negative impact on the appearance of this important city centre building.
“Damage will continue to the other window openings that have been identified until they are either propped up or the corroding metalwork removed and the openings re-supported.”
The proposed programme of work is intended to address these defects in phases of short duration, starting with the two windows at first floor level on Shop Street later this year and a single window at second floor level in 2015.
“Work also proposed this year will include a metal detection survey which will be used to confirm the cause of damage to the window heads that are not currently propped, before undertaking any opening-up works, and identify any other areas where embedded iron cramps may be present,” the bank said.
Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain
Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain
The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir
The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete
Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.
Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.
Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.
Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.
Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square in the city overnight.
It happened shortly after midnight and gardai say it’s understood the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk.
The young woman suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised as a result.
Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team.
In particular Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.
This incident comes just days after a policing committee meeting was told of increasing concern about anti social behaviour around Eyre Square.
Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.
It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.
Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.
Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.
“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.
He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.
Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.
In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.
“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.
(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.