HC Deb 24 February 1896 vol 37 cc926-7

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, whether any funds are at present available for antiquarian research in, and the preservation of, ecclesiastical ruins in Ireland; whether he is aware that at Ardagh, in the county Longford, there exist the ruins of the ancient cathedral of St. Mel, erected in the year A.D. 449, in the grounds surrounding which some very valuable antiquarian discoveries have been made; and, if funds are available, will he direct the attention of the Commissioners to this ruin, with a view to their renovating and preserving same?


The Board of Works have at disposal certain limited funds under the Irish Church Act and the Acts of 1882 and 1892 for the preservation of such ancient structures, ecclesiastical and others, as may be duly vested in them by the owners, but the funds alluded to are not available for antiquarian research. The ruins of the Ancient Cathedral of St. Mel have not as yet been vested in the Board, but inquiries will be made as to whether this would be desirable. It must, however, be borne in mind that the Statutes quoted do not allow of the funds being applied to renovation, as would appear to be implied by the question, but to preservation only.


asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he was aware that the churchyard in which the ruins of this Cathedral lay had recently been closed by an Order of the Local Government Board, and that therefore it was under their jurisdiction?


said he was not aware of this, and he did not see how it arose out of the question.