Castlebar Town Council and Mayo County Council are close to finalising a joint deal to buy Castlebar Military Barracks.
The Department of Defence put the six-acre site overlooking the town up for sale earlier this year, and the ceremonial departure of the army from the barracks took place on March 18 last. However, as part of the sale agreement currently being negotiated, the army would maintain a presence in the barracks.
Castlebar Town Manager Seamus Granahasn told last Thursday’s meeting of the Town Council that discussions were at an advanced stage.
In response to a question from Cllr Harry Barrett, Mr Granahan would not disclose the cost of acquiring the barracks, but said the cost would be revealed to councillors once the deal was finalised. He also admitted that there would be a cost associated with securing the safety of the buildings, many of which have been unused for years. Many of the 19th-century buildings at the site are listed.
Cllr Michael Kilcoyne asked what the council intended to do with the barracks. Mr Granahan replied that there are no immediate plans for the site, and that its purpose would not be decided until the economy starts to improve.
Cllr Ger Deere said that Castlebar Boxing Club are in ‘dire need’ of new facilities and suggested that they be allowed to use part of the barracks for training. Cllr Harry Barrett pointed out that Castlebar has a ‘major need’ for a primary-care centre and suggeseted that this possibility should be explored.
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