The ruins of an ancient castle in south west Donegal are in imminent danger of falling into the sea.
That was the stark message in relation to the 15th century McSwyne’s Castle, near Dunkineely, from a highly regarded conservation expert.
Duncan McLaren gave a report on the issue at a heritage meeting in the town last week.
Main pic by Donegal Cottage Holidays.
“A great night with good news, difficult messages and interesting discussion,” a spokesperson for the organisers of the event said.
“The message from the conservation expert was a difficult one, with rising seas and increased extremes of weather, giving the castle a limited life.”
The meeting heard how the castle is already being undercut by the sea, and how the land area around it has reduced.
“The problem is an increasingly common one around the world, and there does not seem to be any cost effective solutions,” they added.
“While our aim will always be the conservation of the castle, the realities of building protection for the site are that those agencies offering grants may not be willing to spend the hundreds of thousands needed to extend its life for a few decades.
In addition, while we understand what renovation could be done on the castle itself, the issue above needs to be resolved first, as this is more pressing.”
The meeting heard the best chance for persuading an agency to fund marine protection would be through them demonstrating community commitment and expertise.
“Without intervention, its life is likely to be a maximum of 40 years, probably significantly less.
In the interim, there are things we can do to preserve the memory of the site, such as archaeological digs, 3D imagery, artistic impressions, etc.”
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