An Taisce asks that Kilkenny house be declared a National Monument

6th January 2014
Press Release

Expert report says that house warrants National Monument designation

An Taisce – the National Trust for Ireland, has written to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr Jimmy Deenihan, asking him to declare a house with renaissance / late medieval features at Vicar Street in Kilkenny City as a national monument.

“Heritage tourism is hugely significant to Kilkenny’s economy” according to Declan Murphy, Chair of An Taisce’s local association in Kilkenny, “and a further high-profile historical and archaeological site can only add to that”.

“Surely it is time for the County Council to respect the wishes of the thousands of citizens who have petitioned for preservation? And what better way to boost income for the city than creating another visitor attraction here along Kilkenny’s highly successful visitor trail?”

The letter sent by An Taisce to Minister Deenihan asks him to declare the Kilkenny manse house a National Monument. The house was home to senior clergy in the 1600s and 1700s. Such houses are extremely rare in Ireland and of national importance.

An expert report compiled by leading archaeologists, including John Bradley, Senior Lecturer in NUI Maynooth - the foremost authority on urban archaeology in Ireland – concludes that features of the gable of the house (e.g. cut stone window and a projecting stone chimney flue) firmly establish it as forming part the Medieval Cathedral complex of St. Canice's and thereby warranting protection under the National Monuments Act.

Drawing a parallel with the hugely successful Rothe House in Kilkenny, An Taisce concludes: too often in the past we overlooked the fact that conservation can create economic as well as cultural benefits. “But there is a realisation in Kilkenny that telling the story of the past unlocks future opportunities - and as we have embraced that the more we have gained both culturally and commercially”, said Declan Murphy.

ENDS

For further information, please call:

Declan Murphy, Chair Kilkenny Association An Taisce Tel: +353 86 2502786

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 2411995

email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

www.antaisce.ie

Notes:

An Taisce's letter to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht re National Monument Designation: AT6.NMS.20.12.13.pdf Experts' report on Nos 21 & 22 Vicar Street, Kilkenny: AT6.archaeologyreport22Vicar.pdf (3MB)