The crossing tower of Blackfriars Abbey in Waterford is to be re-roofed, with Waterford City Council and the Waterford Civic Trust joining forces on the project.

Notice to carry out the development work on the abbey, a national monument, was published in April, with the Council receiving a submission from the Department of the Environment’s Heritage Unit.

The re-roofing of the tower would, in the Trust’s view, complement the work being done by the City Council regarding the enhancement of the city’s ‘Viking Triangle’.

“This is something positive that is happening in the city centre and I welcome it wholeheartedly,” said Councillor Tom Cunningham (Fine Gael).

Waterford City Council has owned Blackfriars; originally a Dominican Friary, since 1577 and the building itself, later used as a courthouse, began to fall into disrepair during the mid-19th century.

News of the work also gave rise to Councillors suggesting that the market, only recently relocated to the grounds of Blackfriars, should be moved to John Roberts Square during the roof-fitting and beyond.

“The reports I heard about the market when it was held in John Roberts Square were extremely favourable and I’d like to see it held there every Saturday if possible,” added Cllr Cunningham.

Echoing that sentiment, Cllr Seamus Ryan (Labour) believed that John Roberts Square represented “the ideal location” for the market and would add greatly to the atmosphere of the city centre during the summer months.