Fears for Fermoy's Presentation Convent - interior needs to be safeguarded
Serious fears have been expressed for the future of the former Presentation Convent Chapel in Fermoy.
The pitched slate roof of the disused church has slates missing, as has the octagonal-plan tower to the north east corner. The damage was made worse by recent storms. The church, which was built in 1935, is part of the former Presentation Convent complex which is owned by the diocese of Cloyne and is leased by the VEC, now known as the Cork Education and Training Board (CETB). The former chapel was used by Youthreach, but they have since moved to new premises and the building is empty, though the other buildings in the complex continue to be used by CETB.
FEARS FOR INTERIOR
Local councillor John Murphy fears that with the interior of the building exposed to the elements, irreperable damage will be done to the ornate ceiling and the church will fall into general disrepair. He wrote to Bishop William Crean about the matter.
The reply from the Cloyne Diocesan Centre pointed out that the building is leased from the diocese to Cork Education and Training Board and that under the terms of the lease, responsibility for maintaining the building lies with that body. Attempts by The Avondhu to speak with someone from CETB about the matter were unsuccessful.
The former church is not just of architectural interest, Cllr. Murphy says, it's also an important part of the town's history. As such he'd like to see the roof repaired so that the interior can be safeguarded. He fears that the building "will fall down within six months" if the roof isn't repaired.
When The Avondhu called to look at the roof this week the missing tiles and the gaping holes they left were apparent. Crows were lined up on the roof's ridge tiles. They would easily be able to gain access where the tiles are missing and do further damage, Cllr. Murphy pointed out.
He hopes that, in highlighting the matter, it might be possible to have a restoration committee formed with the aim of repairing the building, so that it doesn't go to ruin.
Thursday 10th April 6:33pm