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03/08/2021

Waterford council told to 'reverse decades of official neglect' of city centre building

Waterford council told to 'reverse decades of official neglect' of city centre building

People Before Profit is calling on the council to acknowledge Waterford's Georgian heritage

Úna Dunphy of People Before Profit is calling on Waterford City and County Council to acknowledge the existence of Waterford's Georgian heritage, and demands effective steps “to reverse decades of official neglect, casual abuse and rampant decay of the Presbytery building on George's Street, and indeed of other Georgian buildings on The Mall, Parnell Street and Lady Lane”. 

With National Heritage week running from August 15-23, Ms Dunphy the old Presbytery building is located on an important and much used city centre street in the Cultural Quarter, an area earmarked for upgrading and regeneration.

The Cultural Quarter already has the new Municipal Art Gallery, Garter Lane and the area will soon house the Rogue Arts Gallery. It also has a mix of niche retail units and world cuisine eateries, she continues. 

“Restoring the Georgian Presbytery, preserving its original features whilst installing all of the comforts of modern living, would allow it to be used for a myriad of purposes, including in the arts sphere or as a possible accommodation and co-living building for students attending the nearby Waterford Institute of Technology School of Architecture,” Ms Dunphy says. 

“Funding for such projects is available from the Heritage Council, Georgian Society and other areas, including under the 2015 Living City Initiative.

“All other Irish cities with a previously neglected Georgian heritage have recognised the long-term value of maintaining this part of our built heritage and have completed or have ongoing restoration projects.”

Ms Dunphy is calling on all Waterford councillors and political groups represented on the council to make the preservation of the old Presbytery a priority. “We demand that Waterford City and County Council officials initiate a realistic plan and timescale for the full restoration of this important listed building,” she adds. 

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