Louth County Council’s application for the Heritage Council’s Irish Walled Towns Network grant scheme was rejected on the grounds that the application was not ambitious enough.
The grant would have been used to develop public realm space in and around Laurence’s Gate, but council was told that the Heritage Council “would like to see a more ambitious approach to public realm in Laurence’s Gate involving the OPW, businesses local authorities and Louth County Council. HTI funding would have been available for such a request in 2022 had a suitable request been received.”
The Heritage Board added that it appreciates the significance of the St. Lawrence Gate and the medieval heritage of Drogheda and would welcome detailed grant applications setting out firm proposals for the public realm around this important gate.
Local Fine Gael TD, Fergus O’Dowd said: “This is a very disappointing result given the extent of the public realm works at the gate to link with other investments in the town such as the destination plan, the Urban Animation Trail and St Peters Kingdom of the Hills.
“While I very much welcome the commitment of the Heritage Council to accept a detailed grant application for this work while recognizing the importance of the gate.
“I will be emphasizing to council the importance of submitting a more detailed cohesive request for future funding, as we need to develop the area around Laurence’s Gate to provide space for residents and tourists to enjoy.”
The Heritage Council’s Irish Walled Towns Network Grants Scheme is available to the 29 member towns of the IWTN Network, of which Drogheda is a member, across Ireland, both North and South. Supporting the conservation of city walls and other forms of cultural heritage in IWTN member cities is a key part of the Irish Walled Cities Network Action Plan 2019-2023 and an action of the Strategic Plan 2018-2022 from the Heritage Council, Heritage at the Heart.
Under the Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2022, the Heritage Council has awarded €20,000 for heritage driven regeneration planning for the junction of Fair Street and George’s Street/Square, Drogheda.