Reinforced glass shield could preserve old city wall

One of the last sections of the ancient city wall of Ardee at Cappocksgate could be enclosed in a special tempered glass or plexiglass shield to protect it for future generations.

And it could be adapted to overlay an image of what it would have looked like centuries ago.

It was also said that advice will be sought from conservation architects to see if heavy trucks and buses on Sean O’Carroll Street permanently damage the structure.

A lengthy debate on the state of the wall took place at the Ardee Regional Council meeting last week, attended by Heritage Officer Brendan McSherry.

The wall has been the subject of much debate in recent years and there are currently real fears for its future.

It is a national monument and all work on it is subject to ministerial approval.

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Councilor John Sheridan who suggested that a protective shield might be needed to save the wall

Councilor John Sheridan who suggested that a protective shield might be needed to save the wall

A large green fence and bank had been removed and landscaping undertaken at the request of residents, Mr McSherry said. The council had asked an architect to present a plan to repair and maintain the wall, but received no response. They again requested increased funding for a number of projects, including a wall at Darver Cemetery, Louth Abbey and the Millmount City Walls.

“We have to keep it and protect it,” he said. “We have to make sure it doesn’t fall. Little ones, young people climbed on it and there was a sewer pipe next to it. It is feared that this could have had an impact on the masonry.

Cllr John Sheridan asked if some sort of screen could be placed around him to protect him – as happened in Galway. Mr McSherry confirmed that a tempered glass or plexiglass display could be considered, along with an overlaid image of what it would have looked like in centuries past.

He felt it wouldn’t be a huge job, but with COVID, it was difficult to plan a timeline.

Cllr Jim Tenanty asked if there would be a weight restriction on the road due to the new plans given it was so close to the busy stretch.

“There are big trucks and buses passing by,” he said, adding that a weight restriction might be necessary.

While saying that this would be a problem for operations within the council, there could be a risk of damage to an ancient monument that dates back 800 years. “This could be the result of a visit from a conservation architect,” he said. “If there is a danger to traffic, we should investigate.”

Cllr Dolores Minogue said it was a busy road and the wall needed to be protected as soon as possible.

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