March the earliest for Athlone Castle re-opening

It will be at least next March before the restoration of Athlone Castle is complete.

Director of services Barry Kehoe said it would be “next March or April but I can’t give a cast-iron guarantee” before works to redevelop the castle are completed.

Mr Kehoe said there had been “slippage all the way along on this project”, and that he couldn’t see it being completed before March 2012.

“The programme is six months, but we have to allow a couple of weeks at the end for tidying up,” he said.

He explained that the castle works are split into several contracts: the fit-out, civil works on site, and a software contract relating to multimedia facilities. Much of the fit-out work and development of audiovisual equipment has already been started off-site. The civil works will take six months, and will overlap with the other contracts.

Mr Kehoe was responding to Cllr Mark Cooney, who had requested an update on the castle works and wanted to know when it would be open to the public.

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