Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon, has said that he is delighted that Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphries has swiftly approved the works that are required to be carried out to Caragh Bridge thus allowing the repairs work to start next week, which is considerably earlier than originally envisaged by Kildare County Council.

 “As the Bridge is a recorded monument and therefore a protected structure, the repair works to be carried out by Kildare County Council had to be approved by the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht before they could be commenced.

 “As soon as the bridge was closed I had a meeting with Minister Humphries to flag this case with her and emphasise the disruption that was being caused to the businesses and residents of Caragh and surrounding areas while the bridge remains closed.  Her Department were therefore on standby to approve the details of works as soon as it was submitted by Kildare County Council.

 “I am delighted therefore that when the method statement prepared by Kildare County, with input from senior conservation architects, was submitted to the Department on Monday of this week, it was approved by the Minister on Wednesday reflecting the seriousness of the situation thereby allowing the works to start next Monday 21st September.

“Kildare County Council have stated that the works will now take up to six weeks but I, along with Cllr Fintan Brett are continuing to keep the pressure on officials in the Council to ensure that works are completed as swiftly as possible.  It had originally been estimated that the bridge would remain closed until December, this is now moved back to November and I will continue to work to get it opened as soon as physically possible.