From Declan Breathnach, TD 31st May 2016
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps he will take to protect St. Laurence’s Gate in Drogheda in County Louth against vehicular traffic; and to provide resources to Louth County Council to ensure that damage that is continuing to happen to this historical site ceases immediately. [12490/16]
From Minister Seán Canney Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
St. Laurence’s Gate in Drogheda is a National Monument in State care and is maintained by the Heritage Service of the Office of Public Works.
From time to time Heavy Goods Vehicles and larger vehicles will attempt to gain access through the gate and this poses a collision risk to the structure. This is a matter of some concern and has I understand been raised a number of times by the OPW/Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and within the Local Authority itself.
In the view of the OPW and the Department that the optimum solution would be to completely stop traffic from going through Gate; however, it is also understood that this is a busy traffic node within the town and would create certain difficulties from a traffic management point of view which would be a cause for concern within the Local Authority.
Mindful of the continuing risk-and particularly bearing in mind the recent collision incident which gave rise to the public interest– the Department and the OPW have recently made contact with officials of Louth County Council to arrange a meeting to discuss improvements in the traffic management system that will afford greater protection to St Laurence’s Gate, increase public access and reduce significantly any threats to the monument. In this regard it should be noted neither the OPW nor the Department have responsibility for the funding of traffic management projects and would have no resources available to them for this purpose.