Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has welcomed confirmation from Minister for Defence Simon Coveney that his Department are to remove the gates at the entrance to Magee Barracks and preserve them ahead of the upcoming auction of the barracks. This follows a meeting between the Minister and representatives from Kildare Town groups organised by Deputy Martin Heydon in Dail Eireann this week.
“Local Historian Mario Corrigan explained the historic significance of the gates to the Minister as did Tom McCutcheon of Kildare Heritage Centre and Brian Flanagan of Kildare Chamber of Commerce. Minister Coveney stated that following consultation with his officials and in light of the local interest in the gates, he was happy to save the gates from the imminent sale of Magee Barracks to have them preserved in the Military Museum until a suitable new location was found for them.
“Deputy Heydon and the delegation also discussed with the Minister the history of the Barracks which was closed in 1998 and the importance of the site being developed for the future benefit of Kildare town.
“Minister Coveney outlined the history of his Departments engagement with Kildare County Council in relation to the site and how he felt it was now his duty to move the site to auction so that it can be developed from its present state of dereliction.
“Community Gain as part of any sale or development of the site was also discussed where the Minister again reiterated his previous statement that if Kildare County Council wanted the site he was happy to engage with them, but that to date they have not expressed any interest in it.
“Deputy Heydon undertook to liaise with Kildare County Council to ensure that the Local Area Plan zoning was sufficiently robust to ensure significant community space as part of any future planning application.”