Sinn Féin Councillor and Chair of The South Louth Joint Policing Committee Kenneth Flood has asked the public to be vigilant and report any unusual activity around Drogheda’s Heritage treasures.
Commenting Cllr. Flood said “I was contacted several weeks ago by concerned residents asking why the lights were out on The Magdalene Tower again, so soon after they were recently fixed. I contacted Louth County Council who informed me that the lights that illuminate the historic tower were vandalised and that they would be repaired soon. However, weeks later the lights are still not working. I raised the issue at the December’s Municipal District of Drogheda Meeting, asking once again, why the tower was still in darkness. The council informed me that they were sourcing new guards for the lights and that it would be illuminated again soon. I will follow up on this to ensure it happens as soon as possible.
“Vandalism of any kind anywhere is unacceptable. Vandalism of a heritage treasure, especially one as historically significant to Drogheda as The Magdalene Tower is quite simply unfathomable to me and I am as upset as I am angry that someone would seek to damage any aspect of The Tower.
“I would once again urge the public to be vigilant and to report any unusual activity or suspected anti-social behavior to Drogheda Garda Station and working together we can ensure that The Magdalene Tower is on view at all times for everyone to enjoy.”
The Magdalene Tower illuminated
Sinn Féin Councillor Alan Cassidy has raised concerns about the lack of maintenance and possible neglect of Drogheda’s historical ruins.
Cassidy said “this is an issue that I have always kept an eye on as I have an interest in the subject. All our ruins in Drogheda are protected monuments and I commend our County’s Heritage Officer who has does stalwart work. With the exception of St. Laurence’s gate the onus to protect these monuments fall on the local authority.”
“However” continued Alan Cassidy, “his hands are tied by lack of funding. The Government needs to see heritage as an asset and not a burden. A prime example of neglect and deterioration in Drogheda is St Mary’s D’Urso or the Old Abbey along the walls at Murdoch’s car park. They are in a sorry state with Goat’s Willow having taken over and sprouting from the tops of the walls. Every year that these weeds go unchecked it loosens the mortar and masonry within the structure.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor also said “every year hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through the Bru na Boinne centre, yet for the vast majority of them the only part of Drogheda they see is the bus depot. Why is there no Bus servicing Mellifont or Monasterboice. We have a town and county rich in heritage, let’s start investing in it and capitalising on it.”
The Irish Government are obliged under the European Convention On The Protection Of Archaeological Heritage, Article 4 (ii) which states ‘each party (Ireland) undertakes to implement measures for the physical protection of archaeological heritage, making provision, as circumstance demand for the conservation and maintenance of the archaeological heritage, preferably in situ.’
The deterioration of St Mary’s Abbey, Drogheda