A legal arrangement between Tipperary County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) is all that needs to be formalised before a wonderful display of Cashel’s heritage can be put on public display, heard this month’s meeting of Cashel Tipperary Municipal District Committee.
Cllr Tom Wood requested that the members be updated on any progress regarding the Bolton Library Exhibition Centre, and to be advised “if it might be operational this summer.”
Management responded: “Tipperary County Council and the OPW are hoping to conclude discussions on the details of a lease agreement on the use of the former Motor Tax Office in Cashel as an exhibition Centre for items from the Bolton Library.
“While the OPW are not yet in a position to confirm that the Centre will be upgraded and opened by this summer, we are in regular contact with a view to having it operational as soon as possible.”
The valuable contents of the Church of Ireland GPA Bolton Library were transferred from their home in Cashel to the University of Limerick in February 2016. It has been hoped that some of the scripts could be put on public display in Friar Street. “But the more it drags on, the more I’m afraid it will never come to fruition,” said Cllr Wood.
The Church of Ireland authorities, the County Council, and the OPW are all behind the move, with the OPW setting aside some €90,000 for the development. But “they are waiting for that lease.” The physical infrastructure to house the display cannot go ahead until the lease is finalised.
Cllr Wood told the meeting he had received correspondence from Mr Frank Shalvey of the OPW Heritage Services. Cllr Wood had contacted Mr Shalvey: “Just enquiring regarding progress, if any, on the proposed Bolton Library exhibition venue in Cashel. I understand from Sean Keating, Tipperary County Council, that they are awaiting final approval from the OPW regarding the lease of Council property on Friar Street, Cashel. According to the Church of Ireland Dean they are ready with the Limerick University Library to proceed. I was hoping that the Centre would be open this summer.”
Mr Shalvey responded: “The position is that OPW are working with the Tipperary County Council to develop legal arrangements (ie: a lease) covering the use by us of the Council property in Cashel. We have engaged in discussions and correspondence with them and the broad terms of the agreement and the legal mechanisms are well understood between us. As is normal in property transactions of this type, the ‘vendor’ party defines the legal agreement and originates the draft documents. OPW has generally scoped the work involved at the property from its perspective and will, once the legal entity (the lease) has been created, this will be detailed and incorporated fully for the clarity of the contracting parties.”