Bray People - - NEWS -

The num­ber of years it will take to carry out es­sen­tial safety works at the dis­used Avoca Mines with a view to re­open­ing it as a tourist at­trac­tion

THE AVOCA Her­itage Com­mit­tee has moved a step closer to hav­ing the lo­cal dis­used mines re­opened as a tourist and her­itage at­trac­tion as Min­is­ter of State at the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, En­ergy & Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Fergus O’Dowd has ac­knowl­edged the site’s po­ten­tial in this area.

A Dáil ques­tion tabled by Wick­low TD Billy Tim­mins re­cently raised the is­sue ot the old Avoca Mines, for which the lo­cal com­mit­tee has sought per­mis­sion for some time.

‘I am aware of and ap­pre­ci­ate the tourism and amenity po­ten­tial of the for­mer Avoca mine site. This is­sue co-ex­ists, how­ever, with the pub­lic health and safety as­pects, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions and in­dus­trial her­itage preser­va­tion in the area. It is es­sen­tial that an ap­pro­pri­ate bal­ance be struck in deal­ing with the var­i­ous mat­ters. In the first in­stance fund­ing is be­ing made avail­able to iden­tify and un­der­take es­sen­tial pub­lic health and safety works over the three year pe­riod 2014 to 2016. These works will ad­dress pub­lic health and safety con­cerns and deal with cer­tain en­vi­ron­men­tal risks. While it is not pos­si­ble to de­velop a tourist walk­way at the Avoca mine site in the cur­rent re­me­di­a­tion pro­gramme, work will be un­der­taken in a man­ner that al­lows for such an ini­tia­tive to be in­te­grated into fu­ture de­vel­op­ments,’ said Min­is­ter O’Dowd.

‘ This is the first time that a min­is­ter with re­spon­si­bil­ity for the own­er­ship of the mi­ne­site has ac­knowl­edged the tourism and amenity po­ten­tial of the mi­ne­site or the pos­si­bil­ity of de­vel­op­ing walk­ing trails on it,’ ex­plained Mary Mer­ri­gan of Avoca Her­itage Com­mit­tee.

‘ The Avoca Her­itage Com­mit­tee has worked un­ceas­ingly for many years to pre­serve the unique her­itage of the Avoca mine- site. The aim of this project is to pro­tect and pre­serve the mine her­itage fea­tures and the mine land­scape by de­vel­op­ing the mi­ne­site into a pub­lic park.

‘ Walk­ing trails would be de­vel­oped through­out the site and an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the site and its fea­tures would be pro­vided through leaflets avail­able lo­cally, added Ms. Mer­ri­gan.

Avoca Mines.

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