Ormond Castle: Develop bus parking plea

Carrick on Suir

Aileen Hahesy

Reporter:

Aileen Hahesy

Ormond Castle

Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran outside Ormond Castle.

A Carrick-on-Suir councillor has appealed to the County Council to reconsider a proposal to develop tour coach parking spaces at its New Street Car Park now that Ormond Castle is open to tourists again.

Cllr Kieran Bourke (FF) issued the call last week as the Castle was officially re-opened by Minister of State for the OPW Kevin "Boxer" Moran.

He said the provision of coach parking for Ormond Castle has been talked about for 15 years and it was now time for the Council to show is support for tourism in Carrick-on-Suir and invest money in providing coach parking spaces.

Cllr Bourke said the Council's talks with a local landowner in relation to purchasing land at the rear of Ormond Castle for the purpose of developing a tour coach park have stalled.

He believes Council should now abandon this option in favour of the less costly option of creating two coach bus bays at New Street Car Park.

He pointed out that the work involved in making New Street Car Park accessible to coaches and creating the parking spaces was costed by the former Carrick Town Council at €6000 when the proposal was previously put to the local authority.

New Street Car Park had the advantage of being within a few minutes walk of Ormond Castle and its town centre location meant there was a greater chance of tourists extending their visit to local shops, restaurants and pubs, he argued.

Cllr Bourke also pointed out that New Street Car Park was only a third full most days so the coach spaces wouldn't take vitally needed car parking spaces away.

He plans to table this proposal once again at the September meeting of Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District.

Fellow Carrick-on-Suir Cllr David Dunne (SF) said local public representatives had spoken to Minister Moran and the Co. Council CEO about the provision of parking facilities for Ormond Castle. He was open to supporting another solution to coach parking as the proposal to purchase land at back of the Castle was at a "stand still" at the moment.

Cllr Dunne said he would like to see Ormond Castle being used for more events such as weddings and conference. He believes the people of Carrick-on-Suir would be very pleased if that happened.