Local Fianna Fáil Councillor, Frankie Keena, has formally welcomed a funding allocation from the National Monuments 2020 grant scheme towards the upkeep of the Athlone town walls.
“The Athlone Town Walls are currently listed as a Recorded Monument Protection (RMP ) WM029042 and are the only example of a 17th century bastion surrounding a town in Ireland.
“Unfortunately, during the 19th and 20th centuries the walls and defences were gradually pulled down and removed to allow for the growth of the town.
“Therefore, the protection and conservation of the last remaining walls throughout our town is of paramount importance to ensure the physical history of Athlone is retained for future generations.
“A number of weeks ago a section of the old Town Wall at Railway View which had been damaged by a large sycamore tree was repaired and the tree was removed.
Following on from this, I now welcome the recent €35,000 allocation from the National Monuments 2020 grant scheme to carry out repair works on the old Town Walls beside St Mary’s Church and the Civic Square. This work has to be completed this year,” Cllr. Keena asserted.
Cllr. Keena noted that further action will be necessitated to maintain additional sections of the Town Wall as time elapses.
“It is my intention to look for the erection of information boards at key locations along the footprint of these walls to highlight our culture and heritage. These, in turn, will become part of a major visitor attraction for the historical tourist and indeed for our schools and local population.
“I wish to thank Westmeath County Council’s Heritage Officer, Melanie McQuade, for all her work on this and the many other heritage projects throughout the county,” Cllr. Keena concluded.
Road safety Measures Welcomed
Meanwhile, Cllr. Keena has welcomed the commencement of work, the purpose of which is to lower the dangerous hill near the egress to the Greenway at Glynwood.
“Visibility was non-existent by this hill and there was always the constant danger of a serious accident by two cars meeting on the brow of it. Since the egress to the Greenway opened up there are also a lot of cyclists on this road which added to the possibility of an accident.
“This is an issue for which I received a number of representations and now I am glad to see that it is being addressed for the safety of all road users. The Council is working closely with local residents to complete this work,” Cllr. Keena stated.