Army told to return chapel bell as barracks’ future debate drags on

Clonmel Borough Council have written to the Defence Forces to say no monuments can be removed form Kickham Barracks without permission.

Clonmel Borough Council have written to the Defence Forces to say no monuments can be removed form Kickham Barracks without permission.

Town Clerk Ger Walsh informed councillors at last week’s meeting that they have also been instructed to return a bell that was moved from the barracks.

Mayor Darren Ryan invited suggestions for a proper future location for the monuments. He asked they be sent in to the Town Clerk’s office, and the Borough Engineer could report back to the council.

The mayor said that the South Tipperary Military Monuments Association were anxious something be done.

Town Clerk, Ger Walsh, said permission had been given to erect fencing for security purposes at the barracks. The sooner a permanent location could be found in town for the monuments the better, he said.

Cllr Pat English said the onus is now on the council to communicate with the Department of Defence to ensure something is put into the barracks, to keep it maintained and used for the community.

He proposed they form a task force themselves, to move the matter on, but he said surely they should wait and see what the site would be used for before they look at moving the monuments.

Director of Services Sinead Carr, informed councillors that a meeting between officials and representatives of the Department of Defence has been scheduled to take place next week, when she hopes to talk about the options.

There are “a couple of interested stake holders” she said.

Following her meeting with the department she hopes to meet with the stake holders and come up with a ‘vision’ for the site. Ms Carr said she would come back to the borough council with a report within four weeks.

In response to Cllr Helena McGee who asked if the task force could be set up and then represented at the coming meeting, Ms Carr said that in recognition of the sensitivities of stake holders she would like to “thrash out the options first” before coming back to the council.