Revamp of Round Tower on the cards

by Ian Begley

The Clondalkin Round Tower group have called on South Dublin County Council for the development of a museum and garden situated around the Clondalkin Round Tower.

The group recently made a presentation to the Office of Public Works (OPW) and South Dublin County Council to propose a total refurbishment of the Round Tower area.

A spokesperson for Labour TD Robert Dowds said the proposal for development was met with general optimism and hopes that the Government will support their endeavour to transform the area.

He said: “The Round Tower Group have proposed that the Tower’s surroundings will soon reflect monastery Ireland with a statue erected of the founder of Clondalkin St Cronan, along with a replica of beehive huts.

“We hope that the proposed museum will exhibit a copy of the Book of Clondalkin, along with different monastery artefacts that that will give visitors a real sense of the history of Clondalkin. It’s a great initiative and the group have received a lot of support from the OPW and council.”

The original Book of Clondalkin is currently situated in Karlsruhe, Germany, and was recently visited by several representatives from the Round Tower Group, including Labour Deputy Robert Dowds and his party colleague Cllr Breeda Bonner. The book was written in Clondalkin by medieval monks over 1,000 years ago and mentions St Cronan Mochua, founder of the monastery which the modern village of Clondalkin is built around.

The Round Tower group hopes that a facsimile copy of the Book of Clondalkin will occupy a central place in a new museum and monastic garden which it is hoping to develop adjacent to the Round Tower in Clondalkin itself.

Deputy Dowds said:  “It was quite an emotional experience for all of us to see a piece of ancient writing which was written in our own community over 1,000 years ago. We were delighted that the staff of Karlsruhe University were so helpful to us and the Round Tower group is hopeful that a copy of the Book of Clondalkin will become the centrepiece of a new museum beside the Tower itself in Clondalkin.”

Cllr Bonner said: “I want to commend everyone involved in the Round Tower group for all their work so far and I will continue to support them in their efforts to have the area around the Tower developed as a monastic garden and museum. It is long overdue that this was done but hopefully we will be able to get it up and running before too long.”

Built on the site of a monastery found by St Mochua in the 7th century, the Round Tower at Clondalkin is one of the four remaining towers in County Dublin. The tower stands at 27.5m high and is thought to one of the earliest known towers to be built.

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