Minister Moran officially opens Dysert Oenghusa Round Tower and Church in Croom, Co. Limerick

16 July 19

Kevin 'Boxer' Moran TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief today (16 July 2019) officially opened Dysert Oenghusa Round Tower and Church following many years of conservation.  

Dysert Oenghusa Round Tower is located in the townland of Carrigeen and parish of Dysert near Croom, Co. Limerick.

In 2012, a call for submissions from local groups to enhance and develop local tourist initiatives, resulted in the local Community group in Carrigeen contacting the OPW with a plan to develop Dysert Oenghusa Round Tower and bring it into use as a local visitor and tourist resource for the area.

As a result of the Group’s suggestion, a programme of works was developed and extensive conservation has been carried out on the National Monument. The Round Tower is now accessible via a new stairs and entry can be gained to the first floor of the tower through a very impressive doorway.

Conservation work has also been carried out to the church, along with landscaping and fencing around the site.

In his speech today the Minister acknowledged the input of the local community and in particular the landowner on whose land the Church and Tower is built. He also referred to the economic benefit of the historic monument "in conserving this Tower and Church, not only are we preserving it for future generations, we are also adding a significant tourist attraction to encourage visitors to this area of Limerick. In doing so, I would hope that there is great economic benefit for the Croom area."

The Croom project is one of a number of locations where the OPW is working with committed local partners to help realise the value of heritage assets in their area. "I think this is a really worthwhile initiative” the Minister said today. “All over Ireland, hardworking local community groups exist and, properly organised, they can provide a tremendous resource to help unlock our heritage assets for tourism in particular. I want to commend this group here today in Croom; I think what they have achieved is wonderful and I congratulate them for it."

-ENDS-

Notes for editors:

€1.3m was spent on the conservation works over the past 9 to 10 years. This figure includes specialist services and the pay of the OPW craftsmen employed on the site over that period of time.

The national monument, in State ownership, consists of a multi-period church, round tower and graveyard. The conservation works focused primarily on the round tower and permanent fencing. The church had been the focus of previous conservation works, while the conservation of the tower itself was ongoing. This too has been completed. A new steel stairs allowing access to the first floor of the tower via its enigmatic doorway is now in place and the internal wooden floors have been reconstructed. During that time too, ground works around the monument were addressed, including the erection of the permanent fence, landscaping, dedicated parking areas and signage.

Concurrent with the programme of conservation works, archaeological excavation took place beneath the tower for the foundations of the stairs and in advance of the erection of the permanent fence at the site. Extensive evidence for human remains was recovered, including 49 individuals buried just beneath the surface east of the round tower, with both males and females represented.

To access the monument, from Croom, follow the Church Road out of Croom towards Ballingarry, after approximately 2km take a right to Eircode V35 TV05.

Heritage Groups, Schools and other organisations can book a tour through Croom Community Development at croomda@gmail.com