Hostel development poses threat to medieval church, court told

 

The High Court was told yesterday there were "grave concerns" that construction of a proposed five-storey hostel would affect the stability of the medieval church of St Multose, in Kinsale, Co Cork.

The church was said to be of international historical importance and featured prominently in Kinsale's history.

Mr Justice Kelly granted a temporary order to the Church of Ireland Representative Body which restrains Lyngarth Ltd, with registered offices at Brighton House, Lr Rathmines Road, Dublin, from "effecting any development work" in the vicinity of a boundary wall.

The injunction continues unless and until Lyngarth Ltd provides information sought by the church body's experts about the plans for the hostel or unless there is agreement for works to be carried out.

The judge adjourned the matter to January 11th, but gave Lyngarth Ltd liberty to apply in the meantime to discharge the order.

Canon David Williams, rector of St Multose's church, said in an affidavit that five years ago planning permission was granted for the demolition of a bakery and construction of a five-storey commercial unit and tourist hotel.

The proposed development posed an enormous threat to both St Multose's church and the nearby graveyard.

The church was believed to have no foundations, and any failure of a retaining wall or any blockage of ground water presently passing through formed channels in the wall could have major implications for the stability of the church and surrounding graves. Canon Williams said he believed the effect of excavation work on the retaining wall would be immense.

Last week a mechanical digger had been brought to the development site. Canon Williams said he feared the development work was about to start without the issues regarding stability of the retaining wall or drainage being considered.