Senior local authority officials have vowed to keep a “watching brief” on the day-to-day upkeep of Carrigglas Manor as talks on its protracted sale continue.
Last week the Leader detailed how a pool of business investors were presently piecing together a multi-million euro development plan for the historic 19th century site.
Following those revelations, council executives pledged to ensure the estate does not deteriorate any further while talks continue.
Senior planner Donal Mac An Bheatha said his own discussions with prospective interested parties indicated a specific interest in the manor house itself.
“It is a private property and we can only operate within the law,” he told members at last Wednesday’s meeting.
“We will keep a watching brief and try and keep it in a reasonable condition for a future owner to take it on.”
But with the deadline for bids for the 600 acre estate set to expire next Thursday (October 31), Mr Mac An Bheatha said talks were at a “very delicate” stage.
The politician who initially raised the topic, Cllr John Browne urged the council to step in before any the estate deteriorates any further.
“The house is in a very poor state of condition and at this stage could be subject to an arson attack,” he argued, while also registering his concerns over the state of a wall.
Another Fine Gael representative gave further weight to those urgings as she asked the council to leave “no stone unturned” in ensuring the estate’s longevity from a tourist perspective.
“It’s vital for future generations and it adds another bar to our goal of attracting people to Longford,” she said.
But there were warnings too about how the council might go about preserving Carrigglas into the future.
Fianna Fáil’s Denis Glennon said whatever preservative measures are taken should be done at minimal expense to hard-pressed taxpayers.
“It (Carrigglas project) turned from a dream into a nightmare and I certainly don’t think people should be asked to stump up more money in light of what they have already had to go through,” he said.