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New Lease of Life for Youghal’s Historic Courthouse


From The East Cork Journal.

A landmark building in Youghal which has suffered years of neglect could be on course for a bright and healthy future, as Cork County Council carry out a Building Survey. Located on Market Square, the former District Courtroom has been derelict for a number years following the move by Judicial Services to the Mall Arts Centre.

Last year the Court Services said they were open to approaches from Cork County Council to discuss possible community uses for the building, following an action plan sought by Cllr Mary Linehan Foley to save it.

The listed structure, located just yards from Youghal’s Clockgate and Tourist Office, has lain idle for over a decade but works were carried out on the roof and guttering to secure the building from the elements.

Sean O’Callaghan, Senior Executive Officer with Cork County Council, told Monday’s sitting of the East Cork Municipality that a Building Condition Survey has been commissioned to determine a Renovation Bill.  He said, however, that the funding required to carry out the necessary works may be an issue.   The Senior Executive Officer was responding to Cllr Linehan Foley who said she hoped to see the former District Court continue to serve the community, whilst also serving as testament to the area’s colourful past.

She said with increased Marine leisure activity, the upcoming Iron Man event in 2019 and enhancements to Barry’s Lane, the Courthouse would be an ideal base for Youghal Tourist Office.

“The Tourist Office is quite small, and as our tourism numbers are on the increase with attractions such as the Clockgate, our Town Walls, the proposed Greenway and phase two of the Board Walk, our Tourist Office will need to be larger.”

The Deputy Mayor of Cork County said it would be her Proposal to give the Tourist Office to the Sailing Club and Maritime users for shower facilities, and relocate the Tourist Office to the Courthouse.

Fine Gael Cllr Susan McCarthy, who backed the Proposal, said Council should be “proactive” in perusing the project.

Cllr Noel Collins said that he fully supported his Independent colleague and, if Cllr Linehan Foley was unsuccessful in her Proposal, the building could be converted to a Hostel for the homeless.

Local TD’s are to be lobbied for funding to carry out restoration works once Council complete their cost survey.

Earlier this year the East Cork Municipality received €150,000 under the Historic Towns Initiative to carry out heritage regeneration works on Barry’s Lane.