The Office of Public Works (OPW) says they can’t say when locals will be allowed to visit the Brownshill Dolmen again
Concern has been raised locally that the site has been closed off to the public for the first time ever.
Access has been restricted for safety reasons while work was being carried out on the site but that work has been halted due to the Covid restrictions affecting the construction sector.
In a statement, the Office of Public Works says they can’t give date when the work will finish until the contractors are back on site and they add that the current work is to improve universal access to the site with new paths and new hedging to improve the visual impact of fencing around the monument.
Carlow Mayor Fergal Browne this morning told KCLR News he believes the work could have continued recently as it was outside, noting “It would have meant people had an option in going within their own county during Level 5 restrictions, the works were meant to enhance the experience for visitors not to reduce the experience or make sure there’s no experience so it’s an awful fiasco, you can imagine if Kilkenny Castle was locked down for months on end how the public would react and that wouldn’t be tolerated and I don’t see why Carlow will tolerate it either”.
He adds “As a world heritage site it is a hugely significant site and it goes back nearly 4,000 years if not further, so it’s a huge attraction and it’s regrettable that even for the Winter solstice we couldn’t go up there”.
And the Fine Gael representative says there’s exciting news due for the area, noting “I’m confident work will start there next month and hopefully it’ll be finished off and Carlow County Council have done a lot of work around the Dolmen, far more than the OPW have, and we have further plans that we hope to launch next month as well in terms of acquiring extra land and hopefully putting an application in for some form of a centre on the site as well”.