CEMETERY TOWER FEARS
OPW Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran is being called on to honour his word given in August 2017 to conserve Court Abbey Cemetery in Lavagh, South Sligo.
Independent Councillor Margaret Gormley told the October meeting of Sligo County Council that Minister Moran made the commitment to have the dangerously unstable church ruin conserved in front of the local committee, county councillors and Sligo/Leitrim Deputies Eamon Scanlon and Tony McLoughlin during his visit on 21st August last year.
“He did indicate that day that it was dangerous and that something needed to be done. I’m asking hi to honour his commitment and make this funding available in order that conservation works be carried out to make it safe. If something happens, who is responsible?” she said.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Keith Henry said he had also been writing to the OPW and Heritage Minister Josepha Madigan and each one was “passing the
“If that tower comes down it’s going to smash all the headstones”
responsibility to the other”.
Fine Gael Councillor Dara Mulvey said the old structure of the Court Abbey was “ready to collapse.” He told the meeting he was also in touch with Minister Madigan and had invited her down to see the Cemetery for herself.
The old Abbey ruin and tower are in danger of toppling onto the cemetery which is still being used to this day.
Director of Services Tom Kilfeather told members that they had nothing in writing from Minister Moran giving a commitment to funding the conservation works.
Cllr Gormley said she didn’t accept that Minister Moran couldn’t make funding available.
“He admitted himself that it was dangerous on the 21st of August 2017 and I’m asking Sligo County Council to write to him and ask him to keep his word, requesting that he make the fund available that he promised on that date,” she told members.
The Director of Services said he would do that.
Sligo County Council owns Court Abbey Cemetery. So far the OPW has not taken it over.
Chairman of Achonry Mullinabreena Community Enhancement Group Michael Toolan said the base of the tower was starting to erode away.
“There’s artefacts inside Court Abbey Cemetery but there’s no roof on it. There’s drawings on the walls that go back years.
“We had a meeting with Boxer Moran but we haven’t had anything since. The most thing we’re afraid of, if that tower comes down, it’s going to smash all the headstones in the graveyard. Who’s going to fix it?
“We want to secure it. A number of rocks have come down and missed headstones, lucky enough no one was hurt.”
Court Abbey Cemetery has a high tower (above) in danger of collapse onto gravestones below. INSET: Michael Toolan points to the crumbling walls of the Abbey. Sorcha Crowley