It looks as though Tramore’s historic Coastguard Station will remain open for use despite coming under threat from the financial squeeze on the County Council, which has been responsible for its maintenance.
A special meeting of Tramore Town Council on Tuesday night heard from Lola O’Sullivan that as chairman of the Strategic Policy Committee for Heritage, Arts and Libraries, she and some of her colleagues were engaged in negotiations with a group representative of several community organisations who need the landmark building for meetings and fixtures. She seemed optimistic that ways and means would be found to enable it remain available.
Deputy Town Manager Mr Donal Brady had reminded the members that the former Garda Station was the property of the OPW which gave it on lease to the County Council early this decade. “It is an important and essential part of the social fabric of Tramore and has proved to be of great benefit to the town”, he acknowledged.
The difficulty now was that the person employed to run the Station was coming to the conclusion of her contract (at year’s end) and the government had imposed an embargo on all such contracts. That left the Council with a problem as to how it could be kept open.
Possible option
There was also a preclusion, under the lease terms, on sub-letting, so if they were thinking along those lines they would have to return to the OPW and attempt to renegotiate the deal. But there was a possible option which could be the answer to their prayers. And that was where Cllr O’Sullivan entered the discussion with her contribution.
Stating that there were people and groups willing to volunteer their time and talents in running the Station, Cllr Blaise Hannigan said it would be a disaster for the town if they had to hand back such a useful facility to the OPW. But Mayor Pat O’Callaghan assured him that an alternative to that course of action would surely be found.
Cllr Joe Conway pointed out that were it not for the OPW’s contribution – and its imagination in the first instance – the Station would not have been so expertly renovated (the Mayor credited Martin Cullen, the relevant Minister at the time). However, that was not to say it should be given back
Cllr Joe O’Shea said the Station had enhanced the town’s facilities no end and, like other councillors, he had been inundated with requests to keep it open and with offers of assistance in that regard. “Its closure would be an appalling vista”, he asserted.
Fantastic amenity
The Deputy Manager said it was a fantastic amenity, given to Tramore free gratis and it would be a shame if ways could not be found to keep it in the public domain.
Cllr Ann Marie Power described it as an integral part of the town’s history and said they were duty bound to preserve it for the community.
Cllr O’Sullivan said the negotiations in which she was involved concerned usage and maintenance, as well as responsibility for security and opening it up as it was required.
An element of confidentiality precluded her from elaborating on further details.