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Charleville Castle calls for support to stop road construction
Tuesday November 09, 2004 01:52 by J. Antonio DiBella - Charlville Castle Trust juan_dibella at hotmail dot com Tijuana, Mexico 6881285
Bypass threatens to undermine cultural and nature preservation effort
Help stop road construction near Charleville Castle
This a letter I received by Dudley Stewart, who I met this past summer as I visited Ireland for the first time. He represents a group of people trying to preserve the Charleville Castle and transforming it into a cultural haven for students of all countries under the Irish flag, and the educational premise that knowledge should serve a social purpose as opposed to greedy, selfish targets, this in order to make an effect and tilt the balance in favor of justice and equality where it's most needed: the Third World and other poverty stricken and underdeveloped areas. I had the pleasure and honor of spending a week as a guest in this castle that is being remodeled and reshapen into something alive and wothy of praise. Please get informed, and help and support this inspiring effort.
J. Antonio Di Bella
Mexican, Irish culture lover...
My name is Dudley Stewart, Managing Trustee, Charleville Castle Heritage Trust (registered charity)
Our mission is to hold Charleville Forest Castle intact as the principal architectural feature of the natural land unit known as Charleville Demesne - and when possible, after due study, to implement a full and complete restoration of this important structure.
For your information - The Heritage Council published in Nov 2003, The Charleville Demesne Conservation Report (by Howley Harrington) i which the demesne was described as of "immense international cultural importance" Charleville Forest Castle "is an exceptional example of domestic Gothic Revival. It is one of the very finest and most impressive country houses ever to have been built in Ireland . amongst the most important rooms in the country. Most of the other great designed landscapes in Ireland such as Carton, Castletown, Powerscourt, Dromoland, Rockingham and Headfort have been significantly compromised by golf courses, forestry or insensitive housing developments, which leaves Charleville as one of the last opportunities to preserve a great historic demesne in Ireland." Heritage Council Conservation Report, Nov. 2003.
Offaly County Council announced recently that the tullamore Bypass will go ahead and will cut through the centre of the Desmesne, splitting it in half. Three major roundabouts will be built in front of the castle with massive lighting towers operating all night. The original "Mucklagh" gate will be destroyed. The announcement states that the road is no moving to CPO status.
This road will destroy absolutely the value of our work and undermine the international cultural significance of the entire complex. I have informed An Taisce. I hope that you can help. We cannot possibly maintain our position "holding Charleville Forest Castle intact" while launching a major campaign against this road. We are under extreme pressure from local developers to sell out and abandon our mission. All state funding to the project has been cut since the Bypass was first proposed and we are really feeling squeezed but will hold out.
There is an alternative - the road through the Demesne is already large enough - it simply needs to be linked on either side to the bypass. The Roundabouts can be pulled back from proximity to the Demesne - only two roundabouts are needed the first could be place further back the bypass to the East in Belard. The second can be pulled back further North-west towards Lynally, slightlt north of Mucklagh, but avoiding the Mucklagh gate.
Please can you help?
Dudley Stewart C.Eng.
Charleville Castle heritage trust