GREEN LIGHT FOR RESTORATION OF MITCHELSTOWN SHOP FRONT
As Mitchelstown Heritage Society this week expressed concerns over the restoration of one of the most historic shop fronts in the town, a representative from the restoration and planning department of Cork County Council visited WJ Ryan’s shop at Lower Cork Street and is reported to have given the project a green light to continue.
“Cork County Council are very happy with the quality of the restoration work on the shop front and have advised us that, in their view, the work is of the highest standard and that they are very happy that the project should continue,” proprietor, Billy Ryan told The Avondhu.
The 19th century shop front, which has remained constant while the town underwent major changes over the last 100 years, is due to sparkle once again as the third generation owner, Billy Ryan sets about restoring the facade to its former glory.
“The shop was first opened by my great grandfather in 1913 and only a few pains of glass have gone in to it over the years. Now, the wood is very badly rotted so it was time we did something as it was getting dangerous,” Billy told The Avondhu.
While the shop front is a protected structure, Billy is adamant that they will be restoring the facade to its former original glory.
“This is very important to us and we have kept all the original pieces of glass and signage but the wood is beyond repair,” he told The Avondhu.
A representative from the heritage department of Cork County Council will be inspecting the work to ensure that the William J Ryan’s will be returned to its original state.
“We hope to have the work completed over the next few weeks and we look forward to seeing all our customers again,” Billy concluded.
However, on Wednesday, it emerged that Mitchelstown Heritage Society has issues with the restoration and issued the following statement after a meeting of the society the previous night -
‘W.J. Ryan’s shop front at Lower Cork Street was a protected structure of considerable importance to the architectural fabric of Mitchelstown.
'The Heritage Society deeply regrets that this exceptionally fine shop front, which dated to the late 1800s and was one of the finest in the town, was pulled down at the weekend. We have been in communication with Cork County Council about this matter. It is our understanding that the council is taking steps to deal with the issues involved.
'Under the planning acts, it is their responsibility to regularize the situation. Mitchelstown Heritage Society is always available to give advice and assistance to anyone wishing to undertake works on protected buildings or buildings of architectural importance in the area, and to assist property owners in efforts to obtain grants for such works’.
Thursday 19th May 6:23pm