Fianna Fáil councillor Frankie Keena has called for a report to be undertaken on the status of Athlone’s town walls.
Cllr Keena made the call at Monday’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District. In moving the motion, Cllr Keena spoke about the need for Athlone Municipal District to carry out a study on the town walls similar to the one that was undertaken on Athlone Castle.
In acknowledging the 2005 publication on Athlone town walls and defences, he stressed the need to carry out a further in-depth study on the route and possible location of these walls. As one who is very interested in history and heritage, Cllr Keena said that every piece of information in relation to these walls needs to be recorded.
Recently, the council found the line of a section of the wall under Church Street while carrying out site investigations for the forthcoming enhancement works. This needs to be mapped, documented, and included in future publications, the councillor said.
“These walls are so significant to Athlone’s tourism potential and thus we need to document every aspect in relation to them,” he said. “While there are visual parts of the walls available for tourists to see, it is so important that buried sections are identified where possible and the ground surface marked similar to the markings in John Count McCormack Square. It would be lovely to be able to provide a walking tour route of the entire Athlone town walls.”
Cllr Keena said he is looking forward to taking this matter up with the new Heritage Officer in the coming months when the vacancy is filled.