Major work is due to start in the coming days on the old iron bridge on Donegal Town’s Tyrconnell Street.
And it seems the question that most people want answered is: “What will it look like?”
Cllr Tom Conaghan (Ind) said he has seen the plans and is happy with what is proposed.
“It looks to me as if it won’t be too different from what is there now,” he said. “I can’t say for sure if that will change a bit or not as work goes on, but it is being built on top of the old stonework and will still have a lot of character.”
The Tyrconnell Bridge has been closed to heavy vehicles for a number of years now and people have been concerned for its stability. But the announcement of funding of over €700,000 to carry out the necessary scale of work has been very much welcomed.
“I know there will be inconvenience to people for a while now while the work is being done,” said Cllr Conaghan. “But it will be great when it is finished. I have been looking to get this done for almost 10 years and it is great that it is finally happening.”
Preparatory work will begin on the bridge in the coming days, with road closure and diversions to follow shortly.
The work includes repointing of the bridge supports and major replacement of the upper section of the bridge.
Just yards from the Tyrconnell Bridge, and across the street from Donegal Castle, another major project is being undertaken. Work has been going on at Donegal Parish Church for some time now to repair the spire which had been letting in water.
Ven. David Huss told the Donegal Post that work was progressing well and should be completed in a few weeks’ time. The spire had to be completely repointed, as did the tower which is now almost complete.
Ven. Huss is very pleased with how well the church will look, given the repointed stonework and the specialist cleaning.
“It has brought out the lovely colours of the Mountcharles sandstone,” he said.
Replacement stone was needed in a number of places and this was sourced from McMonagle’s. Indeed, the stone arch around the door has to be completely rebuilt. Ven. Huss is looking forward to seeing this work completed, and this beautiful church restored to its former glory.
There was much disappointment in the town that heritage grants were not awarded to the project.
Cllr Conaghan said: “Given the specialist nature of this work, I really believe they should have got more support from the heritage bodies. I hope that some of the grant money coming down the line will go their way.”
The €150,000+ needed to repair the spire is being raised by parishioners with great support from the wider community.
Ven. Huss expressed his gratitude to all the individuals and business who gave donations and supported fundraisers to date.
The next event is a Donegal Bay Waterbus trip on Saturday at 7.30pm. Booking is by calling (087) 7604214 or (087) 7735115.
Another date for the diary is the Heritage Open Day on Sunday, August 26. This is a family-friendly event running from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm with displays of historical items, fun quizzes and a traditional service of Evening Prayer at 6.00 pm. Everyone is welcome. There is no entrance charge but donations may be made.
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