A Carrick-on-Suir councillor has written to the OPW requesting that Ormond Castle re-open to tourists a month earlier than planned in time for the town's St Patrick's Day celebrations.
Cllr Kieran Bourke informed Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District's monthly meeting of the letter he sent to OPW Minister Kevin “Boxer” Moran requesting he move back the Castle's re-opening from the scheduled date of March 30 to March 1
An OPW spokesperson said it was currently considering a request for longer opening times at the Castle and a decision will be made soon.
At the monthly meeting of Carrick MD, Cllr Bourke called on the Co. Council to provide temporary parking facilities at New Street Car Park for any buses bringing visitors to the Castle in the event he got his wish for a early re-opening of the historic site.
He acknowledged there was a lot of work currently taking place at that car park due to the Town Hall renovations, but pointed out the back of the car park wasn't in use most of the time.
Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Executive Engineer Nicola Keating responded that she would speak to the District Engineer Willie Corby about the matter while District Administrator Martin Nolan said the Council has designed signage directing visitors to the Castle to park their cars at New Street Car Park.
"It's our intention that car traffic will park there in the immediate term. We are starting a study of the area around Castle Street from February 6 looking at the whole design of the area in front of the Castle. We will look at the feasibility of bringing coaches to New Street. It will require the removal of the barriers (at the entrance to New St. Car Park)."
Mr Nolan added: "If anyone is aware of coach parties coming and if they have difficulties parking put them in touch with us and we will find a way."
The OPW, meanwhile, said it had no direct involvement in the provision of coach and car parking for Ormond Castle. It was being dealt with by Tipperary County Council.
" The OPW would welcome the Council’s commitment to improving local services for visitors to Ormond Castle and will continue to work in cooperation with them in this regard," the OPW statement added.