Old School House could be tourist information centre

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE Old School House building in Lucan Village would be an ideal setting for a coffee shop or heritage centre as part of a historical trail in the village, according to a local councillor.

The property has been placed on the market on a number of occasions, and at present the asking price for it, including the surrounding lands which contain two derelict cottages, is €450k.

Old School House Lucan

Sinn Féin councillor Danny O’Brien tabled a motion at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Lucan Area Committee, where he called on South Dublin County Council’s chief executive to “work with the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, and any other funding bodies that are available to support this council to purchase the old school house in Lucan Village.”

Cllr O’Brien told The Echo: “For as long as I can remember the school house has been lying the way it is.

“The local historical society would like it to be part of a historical trail – it could be a coffee shop or a tourist information centre.

“You couldn’t possibly justify the council spending so much money on buying it, so I was hoping that there might be funding from the Department of Heritage so it can be bought.”

He added: “Lucan Tidy Towns have actually done a bit of work around the old school house, but the house brings down the village.

“It would be nice to see some development going into it becoming something that would be part of a historical trail.”

In response to Cllr O’Brien’s motion, the council outlined the potential costs of purchasing and developing the building, including €450k to purchase the property, refurbishment costs at a minimum of €250k and a conservation architect’s report costing approximately €15,000.

The council added: “The Old School House and site in Lucan Village has recently been advertised for sale, it is a listed building for the purposes of the Planning and Development Acts. 

“There are a number of factors to consider including the condition of the building and site, the absence of space for car parking, its close proximity to a busy road junction and compromised access.  

“This means the development potential is very limited and the potential costs significant.

“Accordingly, having examined the proposal again it is considered that the cost of acquisition and works required to bring the "schoolmaster’s house" to a standard suitable for community and or cultural use would be prohibitive taking into account the limited development/use options which the site presents and the cost associated with same.”

Cllr O’Brien said he was informed by council management that they’ll “look into” the potential for funding for the purchase of the site being secured at a government department level.

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