NEWS

Councillors call for extra opening hours and floodlights at Donegal Castle

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Moves are being made to have one of Donegal’s best-known historical sites opened for longer and lit up.
A proposal was made for Donegal Castle to be opened for longer hours and for floodlighting to be installed at the 15th century historic home of the O’Donnell clan in Donegal town.
Donegal County council is to write to the Office of Public Works to have the castle floodlit.
The proposal was made at the January meeting of the Donegal Municipal District by Fianna Fáil councillor Micheál Naughton.
He said the move would make the castle available to tourists who arrived in the town later in the day.
The motion was seconded by Ballyshannon councillor Barry O’Neill.
The council is seeking funding to have work done to the castle’s roof following a visit to Donegal town by Minister of State Boxer Moran last year.
Cllr Niamh Kennedy said that while she thought it was a good motion, she would be concerned that any attempt to attract additional funding might jeopardise the funding for the roof.
Cllr. Naughton disagreed, saying he believed the funding for the two issues would come from two different budgets.
“If it got more tourists into the town, I think it should be lit up,” he said.
Independent councillor John Campbell said he agreed with Cllr Naughton that the two issues should be dealt with funding from two different budgets and would not impact upon each other.
He said he didn’t see that one would jeopardise the other.
Cllr O’Neill said other castles such as Limerick Castle and Athlone Castle are lit up and an iconic building like Donegal castle should be lit up as well.
“If it is the roof, the opening hours and the flood lighting - I say we get in there now for all three of them.”
In a response, the council said it will write to the Office of Public Works requesting them to review their opening hours for 2018, and also seeking their support to floodlight the Castle at night to highlight it as a major tourist attraction to the many visitors that stay in the town at night.
The motion was carried.