The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) has always regarded as a core objective the need to watch over, preserve and wherever possible, improve the facilities available to the community in Our Lady’s Island. One of the things that quickly becomes apparent even to the most casual observer is the sheer volume of treasures that lie on our doorsteps. This abundance of treasures provides both opportunities and challenges to the community of Our Lady’s Island.
The opportunities are potentially enormous. Careful and considered preservation and enhancement of the facilities be they infrastructural or of a social community sort should play a critical part in making the place attractive to live in and for others to come and visit. If we achieve this as a PPC working on behalf of the community, we will do well.
Work To Date
Naturally, given the range of treasures to be looked after, we as a community have our work cut out for us. In 2009, your PPC embarked on the renovation of the main stained glass windows at the north end of the Church. Iron window frames had corroded, stonework had moved, glass was broken – we faced the real prospect of windows falling in (or out) depending on the direction of the next great gale. The preservation of these great works of art (and means by which the elements are kept out) has now been successfully completed – and what a sight these are!
Observers will also recall that significant re-pointing works were undertaken in and before 2008 on the Church spire – this had to be done not only to prevent ingress of moisture into the actual building interior itself, but also to halt the degradation of the mortar holding the stone structure together.
Last year, we were advised that that cornerstone structures in the castle had failed and that the whole building could fall without warning. Speedy intervention allowed the structure to be secured.
All of the above works would not have been possible without significant grant aid from Wexford County Council and various arms of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. We have been incredibly fortunate and we are deeply grateful for this assistance.
The Conservation Plan
One year ago, it was recommended that we try to put some order on the likely projects, works and ideas that are likely to arise in the near future and as a result the Conservation Plan was born. If we can demonstrate in a Conservation Plan that we have given systematic consideration of the works that need attention, then we believe we can better demonstrate our general credibility when it comes to making requests for help in an ever more uncertain economic environment.
How You Can Help
What we are primarily seeking to do with this document is to list as comprehensively as we can all of the things that are likely to arise as matters of necessity in the immediate years ahead and those things that might also help us improve the locality. You will see that we have sought to encompass many things but where we might have missed anything or misinterpreted something else; then we heartily encourage the community to tell us. We in the PPC believe that this Conservation Plan is important for the future of the community and we recommend it to you.