Fianna Fail Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the completion of works to restore Dowra Courthouse as a Community Creative Arts Space. The conclusion of works will be marked by the official opening of the restored building by Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Shane P. O’Reilly.
“The work to Dowra Courthouse has been extraordinary. The restored building has transformed the village. I hope that the building will provide a much needed boost to the village the surrounding area and will in time prove an attraction to visitors and a resource to the people of the locality.’
In recent years the building had fallen into repair. The sitting of the District Court ended some years ago and due to the condition of the premises An Garda Siochana moved to alternative accommodation. Thereafter the building reverted to Cavan County Council.’
‘One of my priorities when I became a Councillor in 2007 was to see this building restored. I set about a series of meeting with Council Officials, Vincent Reynolds, the CEO of the Cavan County Enterprise Board and others. Through these the restoration of the building was included in the Harnessing Natural Resources, an INTEREG 4A funded programme, and became the flag-ship project in Cavan and the largest single project in the project in the series funded throughout, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo and Fermanagh.’
The work completed included restoration of the main building, the refitting and conservation of windows, doors and the roof, the demolition of old storage buildings in the courtyard, the provision of a glazed corridor at the rear of the building, the provision new storage buildings, internal lift, disabled access, new walls, entrance gates and other works to the building.
‘The building is now under the stewardship of Cavan County Council and will be available for use for community arts and will have a special emphasis on supporting and encouraging small artists. I hope that building will be a catalyst for further investment in the area into the future.’ concluded Councillor Feeley.