The people of Granard are celebrating this week after a funding allocation for the purchase of the Motte was secured.
The purchase plan - which has been in the pipeline for the last 18 months - hit an obstacle back in March when it emerged that Longford Co Council was not in a position to provide 25 per cent of the purchase price.
However, the last ever meeting of Granard Town Council heard last Tuesday that the OPW and Longford Co Council will now provide 50 per cent of the necessary funding, while the town council will allocate the remaining 50 per cent.
It is envisaged the purchase will contribute to a major tourism boost in the north Longford area and enhance service provision in the historic town of Granard.
Speaking to the Leader, Cllr PJ Reilly (FF) said that everyone was “delighted” with the news and pointed to the positive outcome the purchase would have on the area. “This has been on going for the last 18 months,” he said, adding there had been numerous deputations to ministers and the Department. “We are absolutely delighted that this project will now come to fruition and it will provide fantastic new opportunities for both the people and town, of Granard.”
The Granard Motte Community Enterprise Committee has also been endeavouring to advance the purchase of the Motte and land. Members plan to open a visitors centre on the 15-acre site which they purchased earlier this year. The Leader understands the initiative will also contribute to local employment in the north Longford town.
Speaking to the Leader, committee member, Fr Simon Cadam added, “We are delighted with the news that Longford Co Council and the OPW have provided the necessary funds for the purchase of the Motte.
“This will really empower our project - the site and visitor’s centre and boost tourism in the Granard area. This is a project that will result in something very historic here in Granard being owned and nurtured by the community.”