Convent chapel protected

AN TAISCE has sought to halt the demolition of a mid-19th century, fire-damaged chapel at a former convent in Cork city, claiming it is still protected.

The organisation's national heritage officer, Ian Lumley, has claimed that under the Planning and Development Act 2000, the building at the former Good Shepherd Convent shouldn't be knocked. He said Section 58 of the act related to a "duty of owners and occupiers to protect structures ..."

Mr Lumley said that if demolition wasn't stopped an injunction should be issued under Section 160 Planning and Development Act 2000.

An Taisce has also sought the intervention of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, which published the Draft Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines to Local Authorities in 2001 to cover protected structures damaged by fire. These state that in cases of partial loss of a building by fire even where a building is reduced to a shell state the exterior fabric should at least be reinstated, particularly where the building is part of an architectural composition.

It is understood Cork City Council gave the owner of the site permission to knock certain buildings to make the site safe.

A spokeswoman for the owner, Pat Hegarty, said he was not contactable.

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