Council: No deal done yet on Market House
WEXFORD County Council has confirmed that there is no agreement in place between themselves and any other interested parties, including Harry Crosbie and Redmond Construction, in relation to development at Gorey’s Market House.
The issue was raised at yesterday’s (Monday) county council meeting by Gorey councillor Joe Sullivan: ‘Media reports are saying this is a done deal and the project is in place.
‘Everyone is supportive of the project and we all know Gorey needs a good music venue. However, I think it’s reckless, in an election year, to go off on one and jump the gun for political gain.’ Tender proposals are now open. Meanwhile, developer Harry Crosbie has revealed that he has contacted both Ed Sheeran and U2, inviting them to perform in Gorey, if his ‘Vicar Street South’ project at Market House gets over the line.
COUNCILLORS at yesterday’s (Monday) County Council meeting heard that there is no agreement in place between Wexford County Council and any other interested parties, including Harry Crosbie and Redmond Construction, in relation to Gorey Market House. Requests for expressions of interests and tender proposals for the development project will remain open from now until February 13.
The issue was raised at the meeting by Gorey councillor Joe Sullivan, who had described last week’s announcement of the plans as ‘premature’.
‘Media reports are saying this is a done deal and the project is in place. Everyone is supportive of the project and we all know Gorey needs a good music venue.
‘However, I think it’s reckless, in an election year, to go off on one and jump the gun for political gain.’
Director of Services at Wexford County Council Eddie Taaffe said that any proposal to come within the next month will have to be approved by the members, and submissions will be brought back to the members for approval.
Last week Wexford County Council placed an advert on the Etenders website, seeking an expression of interest and tender proposal to award a design, build and operate contract for the redevelopment of the Market House and its lands in Gorey, describing it as a ‘focal point’ on Gorey’s Main street.
Meanwhile developer and entrepreneur Harry Crosbie has contacted Ed Sheeran and Bono inviting them to perform in Gorey, provided his ‘Vicar Street South’ project gets over the line.
‘I’ve asked them but I’ll know for definite whether they can later in the year. In the meantime I’ve asked U2 to give me a loan of anything they have from the archive from when they performed at the arts festival in Gorey all those years ago in 1980, I want to put that on display as the public would be interested in that memorabilia.
‘I’m working closely with U2 on another project so I’d say getting them to Gorey, even if they don’t end up performing, is likely,’ he said.
Although Ed Sheeran and U2 are used to selling out large arenas, Harry doesn’t think it’d be unlikely for acts like these to play at a 1,500 seater mini arena, which is being what is proposed as part of the submission to Wexford County Council.
‘It’s not always about money, I need support to get this thing up and running and I think they will help me in any way that they can.
‘I’ve had a good reaction so far even just from people on the road. Bob Geldof even contacted me with support’.
The Irish Times reported that Harry Crosbie has put together €1 million in funding for this and suspects the project would cost €8 million, but questions about funding and the total cost for the project were raised by Malcolm Byrne TD when he appeared on local radio yesterday (Monday).
He said that the Market House being a protected structure was of vital importance, and that ultimately it would be up to local councillors to have the final say on this project getting over the line.
When asked about the topic raised by Malcolm Byrne and by councillors at the Wexford County Council meeting, Harry Crosbie said that he would not comment on political matters.
‘I just build stuff, I have no comment to make politically and it’s still early days’.
Harry said that he believes that within the Market House building, which dates back to the 1700s, the history of Gorey should be treated ‘with great care and respect’.
Councillor Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin yesterday (Monday) described the project as an ‘opportunity not to be missed’ in terms of Gorey history and heritage, and hopes that artefacts will be displayed on site around music, arts and culture.
A spokesperson for Wexford County Council said that any and all submissions that are received for the redevelopment of the Market House project before the February deadline will be considered in full.
The advertisement reads: ‘Wexford County Council wishes to seek expressions of interest and tender proposals from interested parties with a view to awarding a contract, via a competitive procedure with negotiation to a suitable applicant who can bring the Market House back into use as a central feature in Gorey Town for the benefit of the local community.
‘Interested parties are invited to make a proposal as to their intentions for the redevelopment, extension and operation of the protected building and lands. Suitable tenders may then be forwarded to the negotiation stage of the process if deemed relevant.
‘Final tenders may be requested from all remaining applicants following negotiation and those final tenders will be the basis of the final evaluation stage and subsequent contract aware where relevant.’
To meet these needs, the codes of public procurement include building construction work as well as construction of leisure facilities and entertainment, engineering, financial leasing services, architectural and historical services, event services as well as venture capital services.
Ed Sheeran: invited to play Gorey.
Support is sought from Ed Sheeran and Bono (right).