UNDER RESTORATION: Derrycunnihy Church on the Moll’s Gap road is undergoing a €260K facelift. Photo: Eƒamonn Mac an Bheatha

 

EXCLUSIVE

By Sean Moriarty

 

A landmark 120-year-old church on the Killarney to Kenmare road is currently undergoing €260k restoration works.

 

Derrycunnihy Church, which sits about halfway between the famous tunnel and Ladies View on the Moll’s Gap road, in the heart of Killarney National Park, is managed by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

 

The Department is presently carrying out structural repairs, which is both a protected structure and has become a roost for a number of protected species including the Lesser Horseshoe Bat and a number of barn owls and swallows.

 

The condition of the historic structure had deteriorated markedly in recent years with a number of storms causing holes in the roof. The cost of the conservation project is expected to be around €260k and is being funded by both the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Historic Structures Fund of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

 

“The proposed conservation works are essential repairs to stabilise and safeguard the church with the primary focus being roof repairs including the re-slating of the roof with salvaged and new natural slate, repair of distinctive historic metal ridge plates, installation of new rainwater goods, and repair of internal doors,” Máire Ní Chonghaile of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht press office told the Killarney Advertiser. “As part of the works, information panels are shortly to be erected to explain to the general public the importance of the church and the wildlife habitats. Carrying out these conservation works will safeguard the structure, which is an important part of the cultural tourism offering in Killarney.”

 

During the course of the repair programme, two training days hosted by the NPWS and Kerry County Council will be held at which the project will be presented to local architects, engineers, architectural conservation officers, third level students and local authority staff.