Wednesday, 21 February 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
135. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if she has contemplated the floodlighting of various national monuments throughout the country which are currently in a good state of repair, but do not have the benefit of the security of floodlighting; the plans she has to increase the extent of floodlighting of such buildings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5175/01]
140. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if floodlighting is desirable at Tagahdoe Church and Roundtower, Maynooth, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5180/01]
The position is that each year my Department receives a number of requests from local authorities or local communities regarding the floodlighting of a national monument in their area. While there is little doubt that floodlighting can often enhance and give dramatic impact to certain monuments and buildings, there are issues of concern that need to be carefully looked at in relation to any floodlighting proposal. These issues include possible disturbance of the archaeology of the site; the layout of the cabling required for the project; ongoing maintenance and running cost of the scheme; the type and location of the fixtures and fittings used; minimising light pollution by the use of timer devices; the safety and security of the site; and conservation of fauna, for example, impacts on endangered bat population. My officials are at present considering all these issues with a view to developing a set of formal guidelines-criteria which will be applied to any future floodlighting requests. I expect work on this matter to be completed in the near future.
Given the range of pressures in relation to conservation works at the 750 sites in my care, floodlighting would not take priority in drawing up work programmes. Nevertheless, the question of possible floodlighting at Tagahdoe Church and Roundtower, Maynooth, will be considered in the context of the new guidelines.
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