Coun­cil: No deal done yet on Mar­ket House

Gorey Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - By CATHY LEE

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).

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