KCC criticised over Naas lands opening hold-up

Gardens at Oldtown

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

KCC criticised over Naas lands opening hold-up

Trees at Oldtown

A former Naas councillor claimed he has been effectively locked out of the former De Burgh lands at Oldtown, Naas.

Over a week ago Timmy Conway, raised the issue of opening some of the lands to the public.

He criticised Kildare County Council for delaying the opening of the estate.

KCC has meanwhile said it is committed to opening 15 acres of the lands to the public. Mr Conway says that he had been asked by the former owner Major John De Burgh to ensure that the gardens and woods were maintained after his death.

“He told me I was to insist that KCC take control of their property.” He refutes a suggestion that “multitudes of money” is needed to open the lands because they have been maintained and “kept in perfect and beautiful condition.” However the new owners David and Sarah O’Rourke say that while they regret Mr Conway’s “disappointment” that the KCC owned section of lands have not been opened, no contact has been made by KCC and the only indication of any talks within KCC have been sourced via local media.

Mr O’Rourke also said that the given that the council lands within Oldtown are landlocked, the matter is complex and will require the participation of all parties.

He said he took ownership of the house and surroundin g parts of the estate in March.

“As you will no doubt appreciate to open the gardens to the public would require deep consideration particularly around access and public safety. It would be our hope to open all 50 acres to the public in the future if a safe and sustainable method could be found,” he said.

He is also concerned about attempted burglaries including one which led to major damage to the main house therefore it has been necessary to secure the premises, including gates.