Councillors defend Athy castle bid

Local representatives of Athy Town Council said they did everything in their power to purchase White’s Castle but were simply out-bid.

Local representatives of Athy Town Council said they did everything in their power to purchase White’s Castle but were simply out-bid.

“Unfortunately the castle was beyond our reach,” noted Cathaoirleach Cllr Mark Wall at the council’s last monthly meeting. “It was not to be”.

White’s Castle was recently bought by private bidders, originally from Galway living in the States, for E195,000 at a public auction. Athy Town Council failed in its bid to purchase the castle.

Cllr Richard Daly explained the council just did not have the funds for the purchase.

“Everything that could have been done was done. Coins did not just fall out of heaven. I welcome the new owners and it is good news that the castle will be maintained,” he said.

The council heard three options were discussed before the auction.

The first option was for the council to pool resources with a heritage company, to include the Athy Lions Club and Athy Chamber of Commerce.

The second option was an arrangement with a nearby publican who was interested in purchasing the castle for a parking facility.

The third option was a venture with somebody in the private sector developing the castle for public use, but this also had not happened.

Meanwhile, Cllr Aoife Breslin criticised “cheap shots” from a former Athy politician and current Leader notes correspondent Cliff Reid.

Mr Reid said the council should resign because of their lack of action in purchasing White’s Castle.

Cllr Breslin said the remarks, made on a social networking site, should be removed immediately.

- Lisa Deeney