Kilkenny Castle to be made disability friendly with funding windfall
Kilkenny Castle has been granted funding to the tune of €1.7million to ensure the Castle and its grounds are accessible to all. This is according to Deputy John McGuinness who met with Minister Moran at the Castle to announce the funding.
The Minister was expected to make an announcement of €500,000 for the installation of a new elevator specifically for people in wheelchairs or with mobility challenges to ensure everybody could get the full experience of the Castle. However, the Minister went a step further and included funding for an array of works to ensure accessibility throughout the Castle and its grounds.
This announcement comes shortly after the recently installed wheelchair equipment in the Castles play ground which was pursued with determination by local woman Mary Ellen Howley.
Speaking at the event, Minister Moran acknowledged the representations submitted to him by Deputy John McGuinness and Cllr Andrew McGuinness who has lobbied Minister Moran to ensure the popular attraction was accessible to all. Andrew has corresponded with him and has met with him in Leinster House in a bid to secure funding for the project.
“I’m delighted this funding has been announced and I’m taken aback by how positively my representations have been received by the Minister. He listened to the concerns I raised with him on behalf of people with disabilities and he took a pro active approach to dealing with it. I’m very grateful for his response,” said Cllr. Andrew McGuinness.
“The funding will cover a number of enhancements throughout the Castle and grounds including a state of the art elevator that will not interfere at all with the integrity or historic value of the building. It will also include installing wheelchair friendly public toilets accessible from both inside and outside the Castle and a new surface on the court yard that will expose part of an old wall that was part of the original Castle,” said Deputy John McGuinness.
“Kilkenny Castle is the gem in Kilkennys crown as a tourist destination and something we are deeply proud of as a city. However, one drawback has always been accessibility and many people, locals and visitors, have not had access to various parts of the building such as the Long Gallery due to mobility issues,” said Deputy McGuinness.
“Many people have not had the full experience of Kilkenny Castle due to the fact that there has been no disability access. This will change now for the better,” concluded John.
Amenity Grant Funding Increased to €140,000
As part of Kilkenny County Councils Budget, 2019, additional funding has been granted to facilitate amenity grants, bringing the allocation up to €140k.
The scheme is aimed at assisting voluntary bodies in the provision/ improvement of amenity facilities. These are projects which are community based and considered to offer most benefit to the local community.
“This is great news for local community projects and Im delighted to see the increase in funding as it will go a long way in terms of facilitating community groups with worthwhile projects.
People need to keep an eye on Kilkenny County Councils website for application dates.