Work starts on the Renaissance Project

Signing of the Contract between Rothe House Trust and Duggan Lynch & Co.

Signing of the Contract between Rothe House Trust and Duggan Lynch & Co.

15th March saw the builders (Duggan Lynch & Co) take possession of the Third House to begin work on the Renaissance Project. 

Rothe House & Garden Renaissance Project comes to life

The Renaissance Project at Rothe House & Garden in Kilkenny got underway last week.  Much work has been completed to get the project to this stage, including obtaining planning permission, undertaking an archaeological dig and tendering for the contract.  Now Duggan Lynch & Co. from Sion Road Kilkenny has been appointed as Main Contractor.

The project team is being overseen by Mr. Joe Ledwidge, current Chair of Rothe House Trust Limited, and includes Michael O’Boyle, from Bluett & O’Donoghue Architects, Shane McCullagh from McCullagh Lupton Quinn Quantity Surveyors, John Moloney from Don O’Malley Consulting Engineers, and Kevin Clancy from Michael Punch & Partners Structural Engineers.

The project has been supported by Fáilte Ireland through the NDP 2007-2013, and by the Councils of the City and County of Kilkenny. Gary Breen, Operations Manager Fáilte Ireland South East, said that Fáilte Ireland is delighted to support the development of projects such as this which continue to enhance the cultural and heritage product in Kilkenny. Joe Crockett, Kilkenny County Manager, said that this was a great day for Kilkenny when a piece of history is being made, and the Local Authorities are very pleased to be part of the project.

Work on Phase One will continue until mid June, and involves the refitting of the Third House.  The Kilkenny Archaeological Society’s library will be transferred to the top floor, and will be accessible by lift and staircase. The FÁS Local Training Initiative will also re-locate to the Third House during the summer. The ground floor of this building will house an exhibition space and coffee shop, and there will also be a meeting room available for hire.

During this phase, approximately 40 craftsmen will be employed on the project. This will provide a financial boost to Kilkenny and ensure that local skills and expertise are utilised.

Phase Two will begin in November of this year, and will see the development of a new and exciting exhibition space throughout the first and second houses in the complex. This will tell the story of the Rothe family, the House and the history of 17th century Kilkenny. When complete, Rothe House & Garden will be fully accessible to all visitors.

The project is the final piece of the conservation plan which was commissioned in 2002, through the Heritage Council of Ireland, by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society (KAS), who own Rothe House & Garden. This plan has already seen the reconstruction of the 17th century garden (opened by the President of Ireland, Mrs Mary McAleese on 11th April 2008) and major conservation and structural maintenance works on the buildings themselves (in November/December 2008).

The works of the conservation plan have been supported by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Office of Public Works and Kilkenny Civic Trust, as well as the Councils of the City and County of Kilkenny.

The whole project has also been supported by the members and friends of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society. The President of KAS, Ms Bernadette Dermody, said that the Society is very proud of the work which has been undertaken over the past long number of years to secure the future of Rothe House since it was saved from destruction in 1962, and noted that when the Renaissance project is complete in 2011, Rothe House & Garden will take pride of place among the heritage buildings of Ireland.

‘We have an exciting twelve months ahead of us to complete this project,’ said Mr. Joe Ledwidge, Chair of Rothe House Trust Limited and Project Manager. ‘We look forward to presenting Rothe House & Garden to our visitors in a new light.’

For more details, contact Róisín McQuillan, Manager, Rothe House & Garden: 086 2321275

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