Cashel Councillor Tom Wood has welcomed confirmation from Minister of State, Brian Hayes that the scaffolding currently in position at the Rock of Cashel is expected to be removed during 2014.
The scaffolding was erected to provide access and cover for the conservation works at Cormacâ€™s Chapel.
Following correspondence with the Minister, who has special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Cllr Wood was informed that the work is on course with that set out in 2009, when it was then estimated as a four to five year project.
In his letter the Minister states: â€œFollowing the erection of the scaffolding and temporary cover, Cormacâ€™s Chapel has been slowly drying out. Environmental monitoring has been taking place and is linked to an intelligent ventilation system.
â€œSince the chapel was enclosed, the internal environment has stabilised although it is not yet completely dry. However, monitoring of the wall paintings is also being carried out at regular intervals.
â€œWork is in progress on the re-roofing of the south tower following the removal of a degraded concrete roof.â€
Cllr Wood notes from the letter that the completion of the conservation of the cathedral, particularly the south chancel wall, will follow works on Cormacâ€™s Chapel. The masonry conservation to some areas of the cathedral cannot be completed until the present scaffolding is removed, but this element of the work will be of a relatively short duration and could be complete within months.
Anxious that scaffolding would not be visible on the Rock indefinitely, as had happened during previous conservation projects, Cllr Wood had corresponded with Minister of State, Brian Hayes last September seeking an update on progress.